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THE YOUNG DUKE. 



VOL. II. 



LONDON : 
rniNTFD BY SAMUEL BEXTLEY, 

Dorset-Street, Fleet-Street. 



THE 

YOUNG DUKE. 

" A moral tale, though gay." 

BY THE AUTHOR OF " VI\TAN GREY." 

IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. II. 



LONDON: 
HENRY COLBURX AND RICHARD BENTLEY, 
NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 
1831. 






//. o 



fS 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 



BOOK THE THIRD. 



VOL. II. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 



BOOK THE THIRD. 
CHAP. I. 

Whether or no the progress of invention be 
accelerated by consulting the comforts of the 
body as well as of the mind ; whether Bacchus 
or Ceres are fitting company for the Graces 
and the Muses ; whether, in short, the grape 
and the grill are as essential to the concoction 
of a sublime poem, or a taking tale, as the 
ardour of enthusiasm and the piquancy of wit, 
is a great question, which has not yet been 
decided. Blackstone, we all know, wrote with 
the bottle; but then, law is proverbially a dry 
b2 



4 THE YOUMG DUKE. 

study. Dryden, instead of champagne, took 
calomel. Sir Walter writes before breakfast : 
Byron always wrote at night, backed by every 
meal in the day. 

When Charles Diodati excused some indiffer- 
ent verses to Milton, on the plea that it was 
Christmas, and he was feasting, the indignant 
bard sent for answer an ode, which might have 
inspired him at the same time with better 
verse and correcter sentiments. Here follows 
a version of a stanza or two : — 

" And why should revelry and wine 
Be shunn'd as foes to song divine ? 
Bacchus loves the power of verse, 
Bacchus oft the Nine rehearse ; 
Nor Phoebus self disdains to wear 
His berries in his golden hair, 
And ivy green with laurel twine ; 
And oft are seen the sisters nine, 
Joining, in mystic dance, along 
Aonia's hills, with Bacchus' throng. 
In frozen Scythia's barren plains. 
What dulness seized on Ovid's strains ! 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 5 

Tlieir sweetness fled to climes alone 
To Ceres and Lyseus known. 

'' What but wine with roses crown'd 
Did the Teian lyre resound ? 
Bacchus, with pleasing frenzy fired, 
The high Pindaric song inspired : 
Each page is redolent of wine, 
When crashing loud the car supine 
On Elis' plains disjointed lies, 
And soil'd with dust, the courser flies. 
Rapt with the God's all-pleasing fire, 
The Roman Poet strikes the Ipe, 
And, in measure sweet, addresses 
Chloe fair, with golden tresses ; 
Or his loved Glycere sings. 
Touching light the immortal strings." 

Now I do not know what your opinion is, 
but I call this very pretty poetry. In my mind, 
it is a version not unworthy of Gray. Whose 
is it then ? 

Last night, being, as single gentlemen occa- 
sionally are, a little moody, I unpacked a case, 
the contents of which bear the too dio;nified 



6 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

title of a library. And here let me advise my 
friends to follow my example, and give up read- 
ing. All my books are print-books. There is no 
longer any possibility of concealing the mortify- 
ing truth, that no book has yet been written which 
does not weary, and as this cannot be the fault 
of the writers, it is clear that there is some radi- 
cal blunder in this mode of conveying our ideas. 
Now, gazing on a print, a result is conveyed at 
once, without the slightest labour of mind, and 
immortal reverie never degenerates into mortal 
thought. The Iliad and the Odyssey of Flax- 
man excite in my mind ideas infinitely more 
vivid than the Iliad and Odyssey by Homer. 
A Salvator, a Gaspar Poussin, and a Piranesi, 
are each a stanza of Childe Harold. And I 
would sooner turn over the pages of Callot, 
even tlian the pages of Shakspeare and ^"ol- 
taire. 

No man should read after nineteen. From 
thirteen to nineteen, hold your tongue, and read 
every thing you can lay your hands on. In 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 7 

this period, you may gain some acquaintance 
with every desirable species of written know- 
ledge. From nineteen to twenty-two, action, 
action, action. Do every thing, dare every thing, 
imagine every thing. Fight, write, love, spout, 
travel, talk, feast, dress, drink. I limit you to 
three years, because I think that in that period 
a lively lad may share every passion, and be- 
cause, if he do, at the end of that period he 
will infallibly be done up. 

Then to your solitude, and meditate on 
youth. In these words is the essence of all 
human wisdom. By five-and-twenty, my pupil 
may know all that man can attain, both of him- 
self and his fellow-creatures. If our young 
gentleman live, he may chance to turn out 
something amusing to himself and to the world. 
If he die, he dies with the consolation that he 
has fathomed the mystery of mankind. 

But to our tale ; or rather to our episode. — 
My volumes, which are clothed in a style and 
substance which would raise a flash of enthu- 



8 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

siasm even from the perfect and practised eye 
of Dibdin, were guarded from the wear and 
tear of travel by that most useful and univer- 
sally-known matter yclept waste paper. 

It was printed — I have a horror of waste 
paper under such circumstances. It may be, 
(one does not know how,) that some confound- 
ed indiscretion, (one cannot tell what,) which 
we have quite forgotten, (some people remem- 
ber every thing,) and though, I am sure, for 
my part, I have no recollection, and hope to 
God nobody else has, yet still we have all been 
young, and every thing, at some time or other, 
will turn up. Oh ! the luck of the rogue who 
falls to the pastry-cook, and not to the trunk- 
maker ! 

I have a horror of this waste and woe-begone 
— this outlawed, wandering, Cain-like material, 
which all men despise, and which none can do 
without ; which, like the Greek, the Armenian, 
the Hebrew, and the Gypsy, all think they 
may burn, and tear, and scorn, and banish. I 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 9 

have a perfect horror of it ! Even my port- 
manteaus are lined with pink-satin note paper. 

However, on the present occasion, I could 
not withstand the lure of looking at a page or 
so, and then I recovered. It turned out to be 
a translation of the Latin and Italian poems of 
Milton ; a translation so extremely pleasing, 
that I continued my researches, and even nearly 
made up a complete copy. Also, like a second 
Mai, I recovered great part of a translation of 
Claudian, by the same hand, and which I even 
prefer to the ^Milton. Seldom have I met with 
a version which more completely conveyed the 
spirit, as well as the sense, of an original, and 
w^hich did fuller justice to a most ardent and 
picturesque poet. For instance, how fine is_ 
this squadron in complete armour, in Rufinus ! 

•' One would have thought, that polished statues, dug 
From beds of solid ore, had fiercely breathed, 
And started into action." 

These translations purport to be the pro- 
duction of a gentleman bearing the name of 
B 5 



10 THE VOUNG DUKE. 

''./. G.Strutt,''^ a nam?, I regret to say, I never 
before heard, nor, in all probability, did any 
one else. A somewhat plaintive preface seems 
to anticipate that the Prefacer was working to 
pack up my books. Yet these versions are 
works which probably have demanded many 
an hour of nightly meditation — perhaps have 
yielded to their creator some moments of 
poetic rapture. Such are the " calamities of 
Authors r 

Very gratified should I be, if this notice, in 
my transitory page, should attract the public 
attention to the far more important labours of 
this ingenious man, who has displayed great 
taste, and great talent, in a department of lite- 
rature at the present day too much neglected, 
and from which neglect, in my opinion, tlie 
public mind has suffered. 

And, indeed, unless we moderns quickly 
mend, — the sooner we recur to the clear and 
creative spirits of antiquity, the better chance 
has the memory of the Beautiful still to linger 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 11 

in a world which should have been its temple, 
and not its tomb ! It is difficult to fix on a 
more mournful . study than the contemplation 
of the literary efforts of mankind during the 
last fifteen dark centuries, and particularly since 
the fatal invention of Printing. What fits and 
starts! — what desperate plunging I — what final 
bolting ! If Man have chanced, for a small 
quarter of a century, to exhibit anything like 
a sequence of intellect, what raising of eyes ! — 
what clapping of hands ! — what wonderment ! — 
what self- congratulation ! — what chatter about 
illustrious ages ! — what tattle about celebrated 
times ! The acre of Aucrustus ! The acre of 
Leo ! The age of Louis ! The age of Anne ! 
Give me the age of human nature. If our po- 
litical and moral systems had been anything 
better than bloody blunders, and unsocial com- 
pacts, we should have had no cycles of intel- 
lect to puzzle a degenerate posterity, and the 
natural light of the human mind would 
never have been clouded bv the cimmerian 



12 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

darkness of barbaric conquerors and feudal 
tyrants, Catholic inquisitors and Protestant 
puritans. 

Then, perhaps, Portugal might have boasted 
of more than one poet, and Germany might 
even have owned a classic. Then, Romance 
might have erected a delightful Moorish palace 
in the plains of Grenada, and Italy might not 
then have gazed upon her paintings with a tear, 
and on her poesy with a blush. France, too, who 
has a literature, might then have been honour- 
ed, instead of being insulted ; and England, 
that miraculous England, of whom I dare not 
whisper a disparagement, although a Calmuck 
man-of-war, at anchor in sight, reminds me 
with disgust, that even in the ]\Iediterranean 
I might find safety from her vengeance ; even 
England, I say, might then have boasted of 
an historian rather earlier than the last half- 
century. 

Yet there are some great names. There is 
Shakspearc, of whom our great-grandfathers 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 13 

never heard, but whom we have discovered to 
be a god that was passed over ; because we have 
learnt to misquote some forty of his common- 
places, which are so true, that we have mistaken 
them for revelation. What is this Shakspeare 
but an Orson, who wandering in his woods, 
and stumbling on Dame Nature a-Maying, has 
ravished the mighty mother, and mistaken the 
agony of his mistress for rapture ? Then there 
is Dante, who, on this side of the Alps, shares 
with the Virgin Mary all the adoration. I do 
not know how it is, but Dante always reminds 
me of some antique statue of a Dacian mo- 
narch. There is a sad dignity, a grim ma- 
jesty about him ; but then, after all, he is a 
barbarian. He is a giant, to be sure ; but then 
he is a Cyclops. Then there is Milton, who has 
favoured us with a puritanic view of the ce- 
lestial regions — rather different, certainly, from 
the Pagan. He ha.s assuredly succeeded in his 
character of Satan ; but tlien he was secretary 
to Cromwell, and with such opportunities, could 



14 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

he fail ? He has some delightful passages — 
this Milton, — but I would sooner hear their 
originals in the choruses of the City of the 
Violet Crown ! Oh ! this imitation ! Is this 
the fruit of our classic studies ? Are we never 
to emulate instead of imitate ? Are we never 
to direct the means of the ancients to a modern 
end ? There is Gray, for instance. I would 
sooner listen to a nightingale on the banks of 
the Ilyssus than to the lyre of Gray ! His 
poems always remind me of a picture dug up 
at Pompeii — of a Muse in mosaic. Yet we 
are not utterly destitute. There is one Eng- 
lishman — Pope ; and there are La Fontaine and 
Le Sage, and Moliere and Voltaire, natives of 
that consummate France, whose literature we 
affect to despise. There is — 

" Hold your tongue, Le Drole ! and fasten 
this buckle." 

The judicious reader will long ago have 
perceived, that these latter observations are by 
my valet, an ingenious Gaul. I vow to Hea- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 15 

ven, I shall be annoyed, if they be mistaken 
for mine. 

And now, having discharged my conscience 
towards Mr. Strutt, in consideration that I am 
about to begin a new book, and in unison with 
the exhortation of the illustrious and unrivalled 
Milton, I intend to get tipsy. 



16 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER II. 

The day after the arrival of the Duke of 
St. James at Cleve Park, his host. Sir Lucius 
Grafton, received the following note from Mrs. 
Dallington Vere. 

" Castle Dacre, , 182—. 

" My dear Baronet, 

" Your pigeon has flown, otherwise I should 
have tied this under his wing, for I take it for 
granted, he is trained too dexterously to alight 
anywhere but at Cleve. 

'* Lucy ! I confess that, in this affair, your 
penetration has exceeded mine. I hope through- 
out it will serve you as well. I kept my pro- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 17 

mise, and arrived here only a few hours after 
him. The prejudice which I had long observed 
in the little Da ere towards your protege was 
too marked to render any interference on my 
part at once necessary, nor did I anticipate 
even beginning to give her good advice for a 
month to come. Heaven knows, what a month 
of his conduct might have done ! X month 
achieves such wonders ! And, to do him justice, 
he was most agreeable ; but our young gentle- 
man grew impetuous, and so, the day before 
yesterday he vanished, and in the most extra- 
ordinary manner ! Sudden departure, — unex- 
pected business ; — letter and servants both left 
behind ; Monsieur grave, and a little astonish- 
ed ; and the Demoiselle thoughtful at the least, 
but not curious. Very suspicious this last cir- 
cumstance ! A flash crossed my mind, but I 
could gain nothing, even with my most dexte- 
rous wiles, from the little Dacre, who is a most 
unmanageable heroine. However, witli the 
good assistance of a person who in a French 



18 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

tragedy would figure as my confidante, and 
who is the sister of your Lachen, — I am sure 
I need say no more — (Let it suffice, she is 
not unworthy of her mistress.) something was 
learnt from Monsieur le Valet, to say nothing 
of the pages. All agree ; a countenance pale as 
death, orders given in a low voice of suppressed 
passion, and sundry oaths. I hear he sulked 
the night at Rosemount. 

" Now, my dear Lucy, listen to me. Lose 
no time about the great object. If possible, 
let this autumn be distinguished. You have 
an idea that our friend is a very manageable 
sort of personage, in phrase less courteous, is 
sufficiently weak for all reasonable purposes. I 
am not quite so clear about this. He is at pre- 
sent very young, and his character is not form- 
ed ; but there is a something about him which 
makes me half fear, that if you permit his know- 
ledge of life to increase too much, you may 
quite fear having neglected my admonitions. 
At present, his passions are liigh. Use his 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 19 

blood while it is hot, and remember, that if 
you couDt on his rashness, you may, as nearly 
in the present instance, yourself rue it. In a 
word, dispatch. The deed that is done, you 
know — 

" My kindest remembrances to dear Lady 
Afy, and tell her how much I regret I cannot 
avail myself of her most friendly invitation. 
Considering, as I know, she hates me, I really 
do feel flattered. Give her a kiss for me, 
Lucy. 

" You cannot conceive what Vandals I am 
at present among ! Nothing but my sincere 
regard for you, my much valued friend, would 
induce me to stay here a moment. I have re- 
ceived from the countenance of the Dacres all 
the benefit which a marked connection with so 
respectable and so moral a family confers, and 
I am tired to death. But it is a well-devised 
plan to have a reserve in the battles of society. 
You understand me ; and I am led to believe 
that it has had the best effect, and silenced 



20 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

even the loudest. ' Confound their politics !' 
as dear little Squib says, from whom I had 
the other day the funniest letter, which I have 
half a mind to send you, only you figure in 
it so much ! 

" Burlington is at Brighton, and all my 
friends, except yourself. I have a few barba- 
rians to receive at Dallington, and then I shall 
be off there. Join us as quickly as you can. 
Do you know, I think that it would be an ex- 
cellent locale for the scena. We might drive 
them over to Dieppe : — only do not put off 
your visit too long, or else there will be no 
steamers. 

" The Duke of Shropshire has had a fit, but 
rallied. He vows he was only picking up a 
letter, or tying his shoe-string, or something of 
that kind; but, Ruthven says, he dined off 
Boudiiis a la Seftoii^ and that, after a certain 
age, you know — 

" Lord Darrell is with Annesley and Co. I 
understand, most friendly towards me, which is 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 21 

pleasant ; and Charles, who is my firm ally, 
takes care to confirm the kind feeling. I am 
glad about this. 

" Felix Crawlegh, or Craw/ey, as some say, 
has had an affair with Tommy Seymour, at 
Grant's. Felix was grand about porter, or 
something, which he never drank, and all that. 
Tommy, who knew nothing about the brewing 
father, asked him, very innocently, why malt 
liquors had so degenerated. Conceive the 
agony, particularly as Lady Selina is said to 
have no violent aversion to quartering her arms 
with a mash-tub, argent. 

" The Macaronis are most hospitable this 
year; and the Marquis says, that the only reason 
that they kept in before was, because he was 
determined to see whether economy was practi- 
cable. He finds it is not — so, now, expense 
is no object. 

"Augustus Henley is about to become a sena- 
tor ! What do you think of this r He says, 
he has tried every thing for an honest liveli- 



22 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

hood, and even once began a novel, but could 
not get on ; which. Squib says, is odd, because 
there is a receipt going about for that operation, 
which saves all trouble. 

" ' Take a pair of pistols and a pack of cards, 
a cookery-book, and a set of new quadrilles ; 
mix them up with half an intrigue and a whole 
marriage, and divide them into three equal 
portions." Now, as Augustus has both fought 
and gamed, dined and danced, I suppose it 
was the morality which posed him, or, perhaps, 
the marriage. Talking of books, I have been 
rather amused by Fribble's little indiscretion, 
' The Season ;"* but it is not true, that the first 
volume was written by Gunter, the second by 
Stultz, and the third by CufFe. 

" They say there is something about Lady 
Flutter, but, I should think, all talk. Most 
probably, a report set about by her Ladyship. 
Lord Flame has been blackballed, that is cer- 
tain. But there is no more news, except that the 
Wiltshiresare going to the Continent — we know 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 23 

why ; and that the Spankers are making more 
dash than ever — God knows how ! Adieu ! 

" B. D. V." 

The letter ended : all things end at last. A 
she-correspondent for my money — pro\-ided 
always that she does not cross. 

Our Duke — in spite of his disgrace, he still 
is ours, and yours too. I hope, gentlest reader, 
-—our Duke found himself at Cleve Park again, 
in a different circle to the one to which he had 
been chiefly accustomed. The sporting world 
received him with open arms. With some 
of these worthies, as owner of Sanspareil, he 
had become slightly acquainted. But what is 
half a morning at Tattersall's, or half a week 
at Doncaster, compared with a meeting at 
Newmarket ? There, your congenial spirits 
congregate, Freemasons every man of them ! 
No uninitiated wretch there dares to disturb, 
with his profane presence, the hallowed myste- 
ries. There, the race is not a peg to hang a few 



24 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

days of dissipation on, but a sacred ceremony, 
to the celebration of which, all men and all 
circumstances tend and bend. No balls, no 
concerts, no public breakfasts, no bands from 
Litolf, no singers from Welsh, no pine-apples 
from Gunter, are there called for by thought- 
less thousands, who have met, not from any 
affection for the turf's delights or their neigh- 
bour's cash, but to sport their splendid liveries, 
and to disport their showy selves. 

The house was full of men, whose talk was 
full of bets. The women were not as bad, 
but they were not plentiful. Some Lords and 
Signors were there without their dames. Lord 
Bloomerly, for instance, alone, or rather, with 
his eldest son. Lord Bloom, just of age, and 
already a knowing hand. His father intro- 
duced him to all his friends, with that smiling 
air of self-content, which men assume when they 
introduce a youth, who may show the world 
what they were at his years : so the Earl pre- 
sented the young Viscount, as a lover presents 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 25 

his miniature to his mistress. Lady Afy shone 
in unapproached perfection. A dull Marchion- 
ess, a gauche Viscountess, and some other dames, 
who did not look like the chorus of this Diana, 
acted as capital foils, and permitted her to meet 
her cavalier under, what are called, the most 
favourable auspices. 

They dined; and discussed the agric-ultural 
interest in all its exhausted ramifications. Corn 
was sold over again, even at a higher price ; 
poachers were recalled to life, or from bevond 
seas, to be re-killed, or re-transported. The 
poor-laws were a very rich topic, and the poor 
lands, a very ruinous one. But all this was 
merely the light conversation, just to vary, in 
an agreeable mode, which all could under- 
stand, the regular material of discourse, and 
that was of stakes and stallions, pedigrees and 
plates. 

Our party rose early, for their pleasure was 
their business. Here were no lounging dandies, 
and no exclusive belles, who kept their bowers 

VOL. II. C 



26 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

until hunger, which also drives down wolves 
from the Pyrenees, brought them from their 
mystical chambers, to luncheon and to life. 
In short, an air of interest, a serious and a 
thoughtful look, pervaded every countenance. 
Fashion was kicked to the devil, and they were 
all too much in earnest to have any time for 
affectation. 

Breakfast was over, and it was a regular meal 
at which all attended, and they hurried to the 
course. It seems, w^hen the party arrive, that 
they are the only spectators. A party or two 
come on to keep them company. A club dis- 
charges a crowd of gentlemen, a stable, a crowd 
of grooms. At length, a sprinkling of human 
beings is collected, but all is wondrous still, 
and wondrous cold. The only thing that 
gives sign of life, is Lord BreedalFs move- 
able stand ; and the only intimation that fire 
is still an element, is the sailing breath of a 
stray cigar. 

" This, then, is Newmarket !" exclaimed the 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 27 

young Duke. " If it required five-and-twenty 
thousand pounds to make Doncaster amusing, 
a plumb, at least, will go in rendering New- 
market endurable.'"* 

But the young Duke was wrong. There was 
a fine race, and the connoisseurs got enthusias- 
tic. Sir Lucius Grafton was the winner. The 
Duke sympathized with his friend's success. 

He began galloping about the course, and 
his blood warmed. He paid a visit to Sa/is- 
pareil. He heard his steed was still a favou- 
rite for a coming cup. He backed his steed, 
and Sanspariel won. He began to find Xew- 
market not so disagreeable. In a word, our 
friend was in an entirely new scene, which was 
exactly the thing he required. He was inte- 
rested, and forgot, or rather, forcibly expelled 
from his mind, his late overwhelming adven- 
ture. He grew popular with the set. His 
courteous manners, his affable address, his gay 
humour, and the facility with which he adopted 
their tone and temper, joined with his rank and 
c 2 



28 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

^vealth, subdued the most rugged and the cold- 
est hearts. Even the jockeys were civil to him, 
and welcomed him with a sweet smile and gra- 
cious nodj instead of the sour grin, and malici- 
ous wink, with which those characters generally 
greet a stranger — those mysterious charac- 
ters who, in their influence over their supe- 
riors, and their total want of sympathy with 
their species, are our only match for the Orien- 
tal Eunuch. 

He grew, I say, popular with the set. They 
were glad to see among them a young noble- 
man of spirit. He became a member of the 
Jockey Club, and talked of taking a villa in the 
neighbourhood. All recommended the step, and 
assured him of their readiness to dine with him 
as often as he pleased. He was an universal 
favourite ; and even Chuck Farthing, the gen- 
tleman jockey, with a cock-eye, and a knowing 
shake of his head, squeaked out, in a sporting 
treble, one of his monstrous fudges about the 
Prince in days of yore, and swore that, like his 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 29 

Royal Highness, the young Duke made the 
Market all alive. 

The heart of our hero was never insensible to 
flattery. He could not refrain from comparing 
his present with his recent situation. The con- 
stant consideration of all around him, the affec- 
tionate cordiality of Sir Lucius, and the con- 
stant but unobtrusive devotion of Lady Afy, 
melted his soul. These agreeable circumstances 
graciously whispered to him each hour, that 
he could scarcely be the desolate and despicable 
personage, which lately, in a moment of madness, 
he had fancied himself. He began to indulge 
the satisfactory idea, that a certain person, how- 
ever unparalleled in form and mind, had per- 
haps acted with a little precipitation. Then 
his eyes met those of Lady Aphrodite ; and, full 
of these feelings, he exchanged a look wliich 
reminded him of their first meeting; thougli 
now mellowed by gratitude, and regard, and 
esteem, it was perhaps even more delightful. 
He was loved, — and he was loved by an exquisite 



30 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

being, who was the object of universal admira- 
tion. What could he desire more? Nothing 
but the wilfulness of youth could have induced 
him for a moment to contemplate breaking 
chains, which had only been formed to secure 
his felicity. He determined to bid farewell for 
ever to the impetuosity of youth. He had not 
been three days under the roof of Cleve, before 
he felt that his happiness depended upon its 
fairest inmate. You see, then, that absence is 
not always fatal to love ! 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 31 



CHAPTER III. 

His Grace completed his stud, and became 
one of the most distinguished votaries of the 
turf. Sir Lucius was the inspiring divinity 
upon this occasion. Our hero, like all young- 
men, and particularly young nobles, did every 
thing in extremes ; and extensive arrangements 
were made by himself and his friend for the 
ensuing campaign. Sir Lucius was to reap half 
the profit, and to undertake the whole manage- 
ment. The Duke was to produce the capital, 
and to pocket the whole glory. Thus rolled 
on six weeks, at the end of which our hero 
began to get a little tired. He had long ago 
recovered all his self-complacency, and if the 



d3 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

form of May Dacre ever flitted before his vision 
for an instant, he clouded it over directly by 
the apparition of a bet, or thrust it away with 
that desperate recklessness with which we expel 
an ungracious thought. The Duke sighed for 
a little novelty. Christmas was at hand. He 
began to think that a regular country Christmas 
must be a sad bore. Lady Afy, too, was rather 
exigeaiite. It destroys one^s nerves to be amiable 
every day to the same human being. She was 
the best creature in the world ; but Cambridge- 
shire was not a pleasant county. He was most 
attached ; but there was not another agreeable 
woman in the house. He would not hurt her 
feelings for the world ; but his own were suffer- 
ing most desperately. He had no idea that he 
ever should get so entangled. Brighton, they 
say, is a pleasant place. 

To Brighton he went ; and although the 
Graftons were to follow him in a fortnight, still 
even these fourteen days were a holiday. It is 
extraordinary how hourly, and how violently, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 33 

change the feelings of an inexperienced young 
man. 

Sir Lucius, however, was disappointed in his 
Brighton trip. Ten days after the departure 
of the young Duke, the county member died. 
Sir Lucius had been long maturing his preten- 
sions to the vacant representation. He was 
strongly supported ; for he was a personal fa- 
vourite, and his family had claims ; but he was 
violently opposed ; for a 7iovus homo was ambi- 
tious, and the Baronet was poor. Sir Lucius 
was a man of violent passions, and all feelings 
and considerations immediately merged in his 
paramount ambition. His ^vife, too, at this 
moment, was an important personage. She was 
generally popular ; she was beautiful, highly 
connected, and highly considered. Her can- 
vassing was a great object. She canvassed 
with earnestness, and with success ; for since 
her consolatory friendtship with the Duke of 
St. James, her character had greatly changed, 
and she was now as desirous of conciliating her 
c 5 



34 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

husband and the opinion of society, as she was 
before disdainful of the one, and fearless of the 
other. Sir Lucius and Lady Aphrodite Graf- 
ton were indeed on the best possible terms, and 
the whole county admired liis conjugal atten- 
tions, and her wifelike affections. 

The Duke, who had no influence in this part 
of the world, and who was not at all desirous of 
quitting Brighton, compensated for his absence 
at this critical moment by a friendly letter, and 
the offer of his purse. By this good aid, his 
wife's attractions, and his own talents, Sir 
Lucy succeeded, and by the time Parhament 
had assembled, he was returned member for his 
native county. 

In the mean time, his friend had been spend- 
ing his time at Brighton, in a far less agitated 
manner ; but, in its way, not less successful ; 
for lie was amused, and therefore gained his ob- 
ject as much as the Baronet. The Duke liked 
Brighton much. Without the bore of an esta- 
blishment, he found himself among many agree- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 35 

able friends, living in an unostentatious and im- 
promptu, though refined and luxurious, style. 
One day, a new face ; another day, a new dish : 
another day, a new dance, successively interested 
his feelings, particularly if the face rode, which 
they all do. The dish was at Sir George 
Sauceville's, and the dance at the Duke of Bur- 
lington's. So time flew on, between a canter to 
Rottindean, the flavours of a Perigord^ and the 
blunders of the Mazurka. 

But February arrived, and this agreeable life 
must end. The philosophy of society is so 
practical, that it is not allowed even to a young 
Duke, absolutely to trifle away existence. Du- 
ties will arise, in spite of our best endeavours ; 
and his Grace had to roll up to town, to dine 
with the Premier, and to move the Address. 



36 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Another season had arrived, — another 
of those magical periods of which one had 
already witnessed his unparalleled triumphs, 
and from which he had derived such exqui- 
site delight. To his surprise, he viewed its 
arrival without emotion, — if with any feeling, 
with disgust. 

He had quaffed the cup too eagerly. The 
draught had been delicious ; but time also 
proved that it had been satiating. Was it 
possible for his vanity to be more completely 
gratified than it had been ? Was it possible 
for victories to be more numerous and more 
unquestioned during the coming campaign, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 37 

than during the last ? Had not his life, then, 
been one long triumph ? Who had not offered 
their admiration ? Who had not paid homage 
to his all-acknowledged empire ? Yet, even 
this career, however dazzling, had not been 
pursued ; even this success, however brilliant, 
had not been attained without some effort, and 
some w^eariness, also some exhaustion. Often, 
as he now remembered, had his head ached ; 
more than once, as now occurred to him, had 
his heart faltered. Even his first season had 
not passed over without his feeling lone in the 
crowded saloon, or starting at the supernatural 
finger in the banqueting-hall. Yet then he 
was the creature of excitement, who pursued 
an end, which was as indefinite, as it seemed 
to be splendid. All had now happened that 
could happen. He drooped. He required the 
impulse which we derive from an object un- 
attained. 

Yet, had he exhausted life at two-and- 
twenty ? This must not be. His feelings 



38 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

must be more philosophically accounted for. 
He began to suspect that he had lived too 
much for the world, and too little for himself; 
that he had sacrificed his ease to the ap- 
plause of thousands, and mistaken excitation 
for enjoyment. His memory dwelt with satis- 
faction on the hours which had so agreeably 
glided away at Brighton, in the choice so- 
ciety of a few intimates. He determined en- 
tirely to remodel the system of his life ; and 
with the sanguine impetuosity which charac- 
terised him, he, at the same moment, felt that 
he had at length discovered the road to happi- 
ness, and determined to pursue it without the 
loss of a precious moment. 

The Duke of St. James was seen less in the 
world, and he appeared but seldom at the vari- 
ous entertainments which he had once so adorn- 
ed. Yet he did not resign his exalted position 
in the world of Fashion ; but, on the contrary, 
adopted a course of conduct which even in- 
creased his consideration. He received the 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 39 

world not less frequently, or less splendidly, 
than heretofore ; and his magnificent mansion, 
earlv in the season, was opened to the favoured 
crowd. Yet in that mansion, which had been 
acquired with such energy, and at such cost, its 
Lord was almost as strange, and certainly not 
as pleased an inmate, as the guests, who felt 
their presence in his chambers a confirmation, 
or a creation of their claims to the world's 
homage. The ADiambra was finished, and 
there the Duke of St. James entirely resided : 
but its regal splendour was concealed from the 
prying eye of public curiosity, with a proud 
reserve, a studied secrecy, and stately haucrhti- 
ness becoming a caliph. A small band of 
initiated friends alone had the occasional entiee; 
and the mysterious air which they provokingly 
assumed, whenever they were cro^s-examined 
on the internal arrangements of this mystical 
structure, only increased the number and the 
wildness of the incidents which daily were 
afloat, respecting the fantastic profusion and 



40 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

scientific dissipation of the youthful sultan and 
his envied viziers. 

The town, ever since the season commenced, 
had been in feverish expectation of the arrival 
of a new singer, whose fame had heralded her 
presence in all the courts of Christendom. Whe- 
ther she were an Italian, or a German, a Gaul, 
or a Greek, was equally unknown. An air of 
mystery environed the most celebrated creature 
in Europe. There were odd whispers of her 
parentage. Every potentate was, in turn, en- 
titled to the gratitude of mankind for the crea- 
tion of this marvel. Now, it was an emperor, 
— now it was a king. A grand-duke then 
put in his claim ; and then an archduke. To- 
day, she was married — to-morrow, she was 
single. To-day, her husband was a prince 
incog. — to-morrow, a drum-major, well-known. 
Even her name was a mystery ; and she was 
known and worshipped throughout the whole 
civilized world by the mere title of "The Bird 
OF Paradise !" 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 41 

About a month before Easter, telegraphs 
announced her arrival. The Admiralty yacht 
was too late. She determined to make her first 
appearance at the Opera; and not only the 
young Duke, but even a far more exalted per- 
sonage, was disappointed in the sublime idea of 
anticipating the public opinion by a private 
concert. She was to appear, for the first time, 
on Tuesday : — the House of Commons adjourned. 
The curtain is drawn up, and the house is 
crowded. Every body is there who is any body. 
Protocoli, looking as full of fate as if the French 
were again on the Danube ; Macaroni, as full of 
himself as if no other being were engrossing 
universal attention. The Premier appears far 
more anxious than he does at Council ; and 
the Duke of Burlington arranges his fan-like 
screen with an agitation which, for a moment, 
makes him forget his unrivalled nonchalance. 
Even Lady Bloomerly is in suspense ; and 
even Charles Annesley"'s heart beats. But, ah ! 
(or rather, bah !) the enthusiasm of Lady de 



42 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Courcy ! Even the very young Guardsman, 
who paid her Ladyship for her ivory franks by 
his idle presence, — even he must have felt, cal- 
lous as those very young Guardsmen are. 

Will that bore of a tenor ever finish that 
provoking Aria, that we have heard so often ? 
How drawlingly he drags on his duU, deafen- 
ing 

ECCOLA ! 

Have you seen the primal dew, ere the 
sun has lipped the pearl.? Have you seen a 
summer fly, with tinted wings of shifting light, 
glance in the liquid noontide air ? Have you 
marked a shooting star, or watched a young 
gazelle at play .'' Then you have seen nothing 
fresher, nothing brighter, nothing wilder, no- 
thing lighter, than the girl who stands before 
you ! 

She was infinitely small, fair, and bright. 
Her black hair was braided in ^ladonnas over 
a brow like ivory ; a deep pure pink spot gave 
lustre to each cheek. Her features were deli- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 43 

cate beyond a dream ; her nose quite straight, 
with a nostril which would have made you 
crazy, if you had not already been struck 
with idiotism, by gazing on her mouth. She a 
singer ! Impossible ! She cannot speak. And 
now I look again, she must sing with her eyes, 
they are so large and lustrous ! 

The Bird of Paradise curtsied, as if she 
shrunk under the overwhelming greeting, and 
crossed her breast with arms that gleamed like 
moonbeams, and hands that glittered like stars. 
This gave time to the cognoscenti to remark her 
costume, which was ravishing, and to try to 
see her feet ; but they were too small. At 
last, Lord Squib announced, that he had disco- 
vered them by a new glass, and described them 
as a couple of diamond-claws most exquisitely 
finished. 

She rolled round her head with a faint smile, 
as if she distrusted her powers, and feared the 
assembly would be disappointed, and then she 
shot forth a note, which thrilled through every 



44 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

heart, and nearly cracked the chandelier. Even 
Lady Fitz-pompey said " Brava !*"* 

As she proceeded, the audience grew quite 
frantic. It was agreed on all hands, that mi- 
racles had recommenced. Each air was only 
sung to call forth fresh exclamations of " Mi- 
racolo r and encores were as unmerciful as an 
usurper. 

Amid all this rapture, the young Duke was 
not silent. His box was on the stage ; and ever 
and anon, the syren shot a glance which seemed 
to tell him, that he was marked out amid this 
brilliant multitude. Each round of applause, 
each roar of ravished senses, only added a more 
fearful action to the wild purposes which began 
to flit about his Grace's mind. His imagination 
was touched. His old passion to be distin- 
guished returned in full force. This creature 
was strange, mysterious, celebrated. Her beau- 
ty, her accomplishments were as singular and 
as rare as her destiny and her fame. His re- 
verie absolutely raged : it was only disturbed 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 45 

by her repeated notice and his returned ac- 
knowledgments. He arose in a state of mad 
excitation, — once more the slave, or the victim, 
of his intoxicated vanity. He hurried behind 
the scenes. He concrratulated her on her sue- 
cess, her genius, and her beauty ; and. to be 
brief, within a week of her arrival in our me- 
tropolis, the Bird of Paradise was fairly caged 
in the Alhambra. 



46 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER V. 

Hitherto the Duke of St. James had been 
a very celebrated personage ; but his fame had 
been confined to the two thousand Brahmins 
who constitute the World. His patronage of 
the Signora extended his celebrity in a manner 
which he had not anticipated ; and he became 
also the hero of the ten, or twelve, or fifteen 
millions of Parias, for whose existence philoso- 
phers have hitherto failed to adduce a satisfac- 
tory cause. 

The Duke of St. James was now, in the most 
comprehensive sense of the phrase, a Public 
Character. Some choice spirits took the hint 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 47 

from the public feelings, and determined to dine 
on the public curiosity. A Sunday journal was 
immediately established. Of this epic, our 
Duke was the hero. His manners, his sayings, 
his adventures, regularly regaled, on each holy 
day, the Protestant population of this Protes- 
tant empire, who in France or Italy, or even 
Germany, faint at the sight of a peasantry testi- 
fying their gratitude for a day of rest, by a 
dance or a tune. " Sketches of the Alhambra," 
— " Soupirs in the Regent's Park,'* — " The 
Court of the Caliph,"' — " The Bird-cage,'' 8cc. 
&c. kc. were duly announced, and duly de- 
voured. This journal being solely devoted to 
the illustration of the life of a sino-le and a 
private individual, was appropriately entitled 
"The Universe." Its contributors were emi- 
nently successful. Their pure inventions, and 
impure details, were accepted as the most deli- 
cate truth ; and their ferocious familiarity with 
persons with whom they were totally unac- 
quainted, demonstrated, at the same time, their 



48 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

acquaintance both with the forms, and the per- 
sonages of polite society. 

At the first announcement of this hebdomadal, 
his Grace was a little annoyed, and " Noctes 
HautevilUenses''' made him fear treason ; but 
when he had read a number, he entirely ac- 
quitted any person of a breach of confidence. 
On the whole, he w^as amused. A variety of 
ladies, in time, were introduced, with many of 
whom the Duke had scarcely interchanged a 
bow; but the respectable editor was not up to 
Lady Afy. 

If his Grace, however, were soon reconciled 
to this, not very agreeable, notoriety, and con- 
soled himself under the activity of his libellers, 
by the conviction that their prolusions did not 
even amount to a caricature, he was less easily 
satisfied with another perfomance which speedily 
advanced its claims to public notice. 

There is an unavoidable re-action in all hu- 
man affairs. The Duke of St. James had been 
so successfully attacked, that it became worth 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 49 

while successfully to defend him, and another 
Sunday paper appeared, the object of which 
was to maintain the silver side of the shield. 
Here every thing was couleur de rose. One 
week, the Duke saved a poor man from the 
Serpentine ; another, a poor woman from starv- 
ation : now an orphan was grateful ; and now 
Miss Zouch, impelled by her necessity, and his 
reputation, addressed him a column and a half, 
quite heart-rending. Parents with nine chil- 
dren ; nine children without parents ; clergymen 
most improperly unbeneficed ; officers most 
wickedly reduced ; widows of younger sons of 
quality sacrificed to the Colonies ; sisters of 
literary men sacrificed to national works, which 
required his patronage to appear ; daughters 
who had known better days, but somehow or 
other had not been as well acquainted with 
their parents; — all advanced with multiplied 
petitions, and that hackneyed, heartless air of 
misery which denotes the Mumper. His Grace 
was infinitely annoyed, and scarcely compen- 
VOL. II. D 



50 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

sated for the inconvenience by the prettiest 
little creature in the world, who one day forced 
herself into his presence to solicit the honour 
of dedicating to him her poems. 

He had enough upon his hands, so he wrote 
her a check, and with a courtesy which must 
have made this Sappho quite desperate, put 
her out of the room. 

I forgot to say, that the name of the new 
journal was the " New World." The new 
world is not quite as big as the universe, but 
then it is as large as all the other quarters of 
the globe together. The worst of this busi- 
ness was, the Universe protested that the 
Duke of St. James, like a second Canning, 
had called this New World into existence, 
which was too bad, because, in truth, he 
deprecated its discovery scarcely less than 
the Venetians. 

Having thus managed, in the course of a few 
weeks, to achieve the reputation of an imri- 
valled Roue, our hero one night betook him- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 51 

self to Almack's, a place where his visits, this 
season, were both shorter and less frequent. 

Many an anxious mother gazed upon him, 
as he passed, with an eye which longed to pierce 
futurity ; many an agitated maiden looked ex- 
quisitely unembarrassed, while her fluttering 
memory feasted on the sweet thought that, at any 
rate, another had not captured this unrivalled 
prize. Perhaps she might be the Anson to fall 
upon this galleon. It was worth a long cruise, 
and even the chance of a shipwreck. 

He danced with Lady Aphrodite, because 
since the affair of the Signora, he was most 
punctilious in his attentions to her, particularly 
in public. That aff*air, of course, she passed 
over in silence, though it was bitter. She, 
however, had had sufficient experience of a man 
to feel that remonstrance is a last resource, 
and usually an ineffectual one. It was some- 
thing that her rival — not that her Ladyship 
dignified the bird by that title — it was some- 
thing, that she was not her equal, that she was 
d2 



SiT.o.ua«u. 



52 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

not one with whom she could be put in painful 
and constant collision. She tried to consider it 
a freak, to believe only half she heard, and to 
indulge the fancy, that it was a toy which 
would soon tire. As for Sir Lucius, he saw 
nothing in this adventure, or indeed in the Al- 
hambra system at all, which militated against 
his ulterior views. No one more constantly 
officiated at the ducal orgies than himself, both 
because he was devoted to self- gratification, 
and because he liked ever to have his protege 
in sight. He studiously prevented any other 
individual from becoming the Petronius cf the 
circle. His deep experience also taught him, 
that with a person of the young Duke's temper, 
the mode of life which he was novv leading, was 
exactly the one which not only would insure, but 
even hurry the catastrophe his faithful friend 
so eagerly desired. His pleasures, as Sir Lu- 
cius knew, would soon pall ; for he easily per- 
ceived that the Duke was not heartless enough 
for a roue. When thorough satiety is felt, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 53 

young men are in the cue for desperate deeds. 
Looking upon happiness as a dream, or a prize 
which, in life's lottery, they have missed — worn, 
hipped, dissatisfied, and desperate, they often 
hurry on a result which they disapprove, mere- 
ly to close a miserable career, or to brave the 
society with which they cannot sympathize. 

The Duke, however, was not yet sated. As 
after a feast, when we have despatched a quan- 
tity of wine, there sometimes, as it were, arises 
a second appetite, unnatural, to be sure, but 
very keen ; so, in a career of dissipation, when 
our passion for pleasure appears to be exhaust- 
ed, the fatal fancy of man, like a wearied hare, 
will take a new turn, throw off the hell-hounds 
of ennuiy and course again with renewed vigour. 

And to-night the Duke of St. James was, as 
he had been for some weeks, all life, and fire, 
and excitement ; and his eye was even now wan- 
dering round the room, in quest of some con- 
summate spirit, whom he might summon to his 
Saracenic Paradise. 



54 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

A consummate spirit his eye lighted on. 
There stood May Dacre. He gasped for breath . 
He turned pale. It was only for a moment, 
and his emotion was unperceived. There she 
stood, beautiful as when she first glanced before 
him ; — there she stood, with all her imperial 
graces; and all surrounding splendour seemed 
to fade away before her dazzling presence, like 
mournful spirits of a lower world before a 
radiant creature of the sky. 

She was speaking with her sunlight smile to 
a young man, M'hose appearance attracted his 
notice. He was dressed entirely in black, short, 
but slenderly made; sallow, but clear, with 
long black curls, and a Murillo face, and look- 
ed altogether like a young Jesuit, or a Venetian 
official by Giorgione or Titian. His counte- 
nance was reserved, and his manner not very 
easy ; yet, on the whole, his face indicated intel- 
lect, and his figure blood. The features haunted 
the Duke's memory. He had met this person 
before. There are some countenances, which, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 55 

when once seen, can never be forgotten, and 
the young man owned one of these. The Duke 
recalled him to his memory with a pang. 

Our hero, — let him still be ours; for he is 
rather desolate, and he requires the backing of 
his friends, — our hero behaved pretty well. He 
seized the first favourable opportunity to catch 
Miss Dacre's eye, and was grateful for her 
bow. Emboldened, he accosted her, and asked 
after Mr. Dacre. She was very courteous, but 
amazingly unembarrassed. Her calmness, how- 
ever, piqued him sufficiently to allow him to 
rally. He was tolerably easy, and talked of 
calling. Their conversation lasted only for a 
few minutes, and was fortunately terminated 
without his withdrawal, which would have been 
awkward. The young man, whom we have 
noticed, came up to claim her hand. 

" Arundel Dacre, or my eyes deceive me,'* 
said the young Duke. " I always consider an 
old Etonian a friend, and therefore I address 
you without ceremony." 



56 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

The young man accepted, but not with great 
readiness, the offered hand. He blushed, and 
spoke, but in a hesitating and huskv voice. 
Then he cleared his throat, and spoke again, 
but not much more to the purpose. Then he 
looked to his partner, whose eyes were on the 
ground, and rose as he endeavoured to catch 
them. For a moment, he was silent again; then 
he bowed slightly to Miss Dacre, and solemnly 
to the Duke, and then he carried off his cousin. 

" Poor Dacre !'' said the Duke ; " he always 
had the worst manner in the world. Not in 
the least changed.'' 

His Grace wandered into the tea-room. A 
knot of dandies were in deep converse. He 
heard his own name, and that of the Duke of 
Burlington ; then came " Doncaster Beauty" — 
" Don't you know.?"—" Oh ! yes,"—" All quite 
mad," &c. &c. &c. As he passed, he was in- 
vited in different ways to join this coterie of 
his admirers, but he declined the honour, and 
passed them with that icy hauteur, which he 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 57 

could assume, and which, judiciously used, 
contributed not a little to his popularity. 

He could not conquer his depression ; and 
although it was scarcely past midnight, he de- 
termined to disappear. Fortunately, his car- 
riage was waiting. He was at a loss what to 
do with himself. He dreaded even to be alone. 
The Signora was at a private concert, and she 
was the last person whom, at this moment, he 
cared to see. His low spirits rapidly increased. 
He got terribly nervous, and felt perfectly mi- 
serable. At last, he drove to White's. 

The House had just broke up, and the poli- 
tical members had just entered, and in clus- 
ters, some standing, and some yawning, some 
stretching their arms, and some stretching their 
legs, presented symptoms of an escape from 
boredom. Among others, round the fire, was a 
young man dressed in a rough great coat all cords 
and sables, with his hat bent aside, a shawl tied 
round his neck with great boldness, and a huge 
oaken staff clenched in his left hand. With the 
D 5 



58 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

other he held the Courier, and reviewed with 
a critical eye the report of the speech which 
he had made that afternoon. This was Lord 
Darrell. 

I have always considered the talents of 
younger brothers as an unanswerable argu- 
ment in favour of a Providence. Lord Dar- 
rell was the younger son of the Earl of Darley- 
ford, and had been educated for a diplomatist. 
A report some two 3^ears ago had been very 
current, that his elder brother, then Lord 
Darrell, was, against the consent of his family, 
about to be favoured with the hand of ^Irs. 
Dallington Vere. Certain it is, he was a very 
devoted admirer of that lady. Of that lady, 
however, a less favoured rival chose one day to 
say that, which staggered the romance of the 
impassioned youth. In a moment of rashness, 
impelled by sacred feelings, it is reported, at 
least, for the whole is a mystery, he communi- 
cated what he had heard with horror to the 
mibtrcss of his destinies. Whatever took place, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 59 

certain it is, Lord Darrell challenged the inde- 
corous speaker, and was shot through the heart. 
The affair made a great sensation, and the Dar- 
leyfords and their connections said bitter things 
of Mrs. Dallington, and talked much of rash 
you ': and subtle woman of discreeter years, 
and passions shamefully inflamed, and purposes 
wickedly egged on. I say nothing of all this ; 
nor will we dwell upon it. ^Irs. Dallington 
Vere assuredly was no slight sufferer. But she 
conquered the cabal that was formed against her, 
for the dandies were her friends, and gallant- 
ly supported her through a trial under which 
some women would have sunk. As it was. at 
the end of the season, she did travel, but all 
is now forgotten ; and Hill Street, Berkeley 
Square, again contains, at the moment of our 
story, its brightest ornament. 

The present Lord Darrell gave up all idea 
of being an ambassador, but he was clever ; and 
though he hurried to gratify a taste for plea- 
sure which before had been too much mortified, 



60 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

he could not relinquish the ambitious prospects 
with which he had, during the greater part of 
his life, consoled himself for his cadetship. He 
piqued himself upon being, at the same time, a 
dandy and a statesman. He spoke in the House, 
and not without effect. He was one of those 
who had made himself master of all the great 
political questions, that is to say, had read a 
great many reviews and newspapers, and was 
full of others' thoughts, without ever having 
thought himself. He particularly prided him- 
self upon having made his way into the Alham- 
bra set. He was the only man of business 
among them. The Duke liked him, — for it is 
agreeable to be courted by those who are 
themselves considered. 

Lord Darrell was a great favourite with the 
women. They hke a little intellect. He talk- 
ed fluently on all subjects. He was what is 
called " a talented young man," (oh ! that 
odious, canting, un-English word !) Then he 
had mind, and soul, and all that. The miracles 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 61 

of creation have long agreed that body without 
soul will not do ; and even a coxcomb in these 
days must be original, or he is a bore. No 
longer is such a character the mere creation of 
his tailor and his perfumer. He must dress, 
certainly ; assuredly, he must scent. But he 
must also let the world hourly feel by that de- 
licate eccentricity, which infuses a graceful va- 
riety into the monotony of life, that he is enti- 
tled to invent a button, or to bathe in violets. 

Lord Darrell was an avowed admirer of 
Lady Caroline St. Maurice, and a great favou- 
rite with her parents, who both considered him 
an oracle on the subjects which respectively in- 
terested them. You might dine at Fitz-pom- 
pey House, and hear his name quoted at both 
ends of the table ; by the host, upon the state of 
Europe, and by the hostess, upon the state of 
the season. Had it not been for the young- 
Duke, nothing would have given Lady Fitz- 
pom])ey greater pleasure than to have received 
him as a son-in-law ; but, as it was, he was 



62 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

only kept in store for the second string to 
Cupid's bow. 

Lord Darrell had just quitted the House in a 
costume vvhich, though rough, was not less 
studied than the finished and elaborate toilette 
which, in the course of an hour, he will exhibit 
in the enchanted halls of Almack's. There he 
will figure to the last, the most active and the 
most remarked; and though after these conti- 
nued exertions, he will not gain his couch per- 
haps till seven, our Lord of the Treasury, — for 
he is one, — will resume his official duties at 
an earlier hour than any functionary in the 
kingdom. 

Yet our friend is a little annoyed now. What 
is the matter ? He dilates to his uncle. Lord 
Seymour Temple, a greyheaded placeman, on 
the profligacy of the press. What — Mhat is this ? 
The Virgilian line our orator introduced so 
felicitously is omitted. He panegyrizes the 
Mirror of Parliament, where he has no doubt 
the missing verse will appear. The quotation 
was new — " Tinieo Danaos.^'' 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 63 

Lord Seymour Temple begins a long story 
about Fox and General Fitzpatrick. This is 
a signal for a general retreat ; and the bore, 
as Sir Boyle Roche would say, like the last 
rose of summer, remains talking to himself. 



64 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Arundel D AC RE was the only child of Mr. 
Dacre's only and deceased brother, and the heir 
to the whole of the Dacre property. His fa- 
ther, a man of violent passions, had married 
early in life, against the approbation of his fa- 
mily, and had revolted from the Catholic com- 
munion. The elder brother, however mortified 
by this great deed, which passion had prompt- 
ed, and not conscience, had exerted his best 
offices to mollify their exasperated father, and 
to reconcile the sire to the son. But he had 
exerted them ineffectually ; and, as is not un- 
usual, found, after much harrowing anxiety 
and deep suffering, that he was not even recom- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 65 

pensed for his exertions and his sympathy, 
by the gratitude of his brother. The younger 
Dacre was not one of those minds whose rash- 
ness and impetuosity are counterbalanced, or 
rather compensated, by a generous candour and 
an amiable remorse. He was headstrong, but 
he was obstinate : he was ardent, but he was 
sullen : he was unwary, but he was suspi- 
cious. Every one who opposed him was his 
enemy : all who combined for his preservation 
were conspirators. His father, whose feelings 
he had outraged, and never attempted to soothe, 
was a tyrant ; his brother, who was devoted to 
his interests, was a traitor. 

These w^ere his living and his dying thoughts. 
While he existed, he was one of those men, who, 
because they have been imprudent, think them- 
selves unfortunate, and mistake their diseased 
mind for an implacable destiny. When he died, 
his death-bed was consoled by the reflection, 
that his persecutors might at last feel some 
compunction ; and he quitted the world without 



66 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

a pang, because he flattered himself that his 
departure would cost them one. 

His father, who died before him, had left 
him no fortune, and even had not provided for 
his wife or child. His brother made another 
ineffectual attempt to accomplish a reconcilia- 
tion ; but his proffers of love and fortune were 
alike scorned, and himself insulted ; and Arun- 
del Dacre seemed to gloat on the idea, that he 
was an outcast and a beggar. 

Yet even this strange being had his warm 
feelings. He adored his wife, particularly be- 
cause his father had disowned her. He had a 
friend whom he idolized, and who, treating 
his occasional conduct as a species of insanity, 
had never deserted him. This friend had been 
his college companion, and, in the odd chapter 
of circumstances, had become a powerful poli- 
tical character. Dacre was a man of talents, 
and his friend took care tliat he should have 
an opportunity of displaying them. He was 
brought into Parliament, and animated by the 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 67 

desire, as he thought, of triumphing over his 
family, he exerted himself with success. But 
his infernal temper spoiled all. His active 
quarrels, and his noisy brawls, were even more 
endurable than his sullen suspicions, his dark 
hints, and his silent hate. He was always of- 
fended, and always offending. Such a man 
could never succeed as a politician, — a character 
who, of all others, must learn to endure, to for- 
get, and to forgive. He was soon universally 
shunned ; but his first friend was faithful, 
though bitterly tried, and Dacre retired from 
public life on a pension. 

His wife had died, and during the latter 
years of his life, almost his only companion 
was his son. He concentrated on this being all 
that ardent affection, which had he diffused 
among his fellow-creatures, might have ensured 
his happiness and his prosperity. Yet even 
sometimes he would look in his child's face 
with an anxious air, as if he read incubating 
treason, and then press him to his bosom with 



68 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

unusual fervour, as if he would stifle the idea, 
which alone was madness. 

This child was educated in an hereditary 
hate of the Dacre family. His uncle was daily 
painted as a tyrant, whom he classed in his 
young mind with Phalaris or Dionysius. There 
was nothing that he felt keener than his father's 
wrongs, and nothing which he believed more 
certain, than his uncle's wickedness. He arrived 
at his thirteenth year, when his father died, and 
he was to be consigned to the care of that 
uncle. 

Arundel Dacre had left his son as a legacy to 
his friend ; but that friend was a man of the 
world ; and when the elder brother not only ex- 
pressed his willingness to maintain the orphan, 
but even his desire to educate and adopt him as 
his son, he cheerfully resigned all his claims to 
the forlorn boy, and felt that, by consigning him 
to his uncle, lie had most religiously discharged 
the trust of his confiding friend. 

The nephew arrived at Castle Dacre with a 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 69 

heart equally divided between misery and 
hatred. It seemed to him that a fate more for- 
lorn than his had seldom been awarded to mor- 
tal. Although he found his uncle so diametri- 
cally opposite to all that his misled imagination 
had painted him ; although he was treated with 
a kindness and indulgence which tried to com- 
pensate for their too long estranged affections, 
Arundel Dacre could never conquer the im- 
pressions of his boyhood ; and had it not been 
for his cousin, May, a creature of whom he had 
not heard, and of whom no distorted image 
had therefore haunted his disturbed imagina- 
tion, — had it not been for this beautiful girl, 
who greeted him with affection which warmed 
and won his heart, so morbid were his feelings, 
that he would in all probability have pined 
away under the roof which he should have 
looked upon as his own. 

His departure for Eton was a relief. As he 
grew up, although his knowledge of life and 
man had long taught him the fallacy of his early 



70 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

feelings ; and although he now yielded a tear of 
pity, rather than of indignation, to the adored 
manes of his father, his peculiar temper and his 
first education never allowed him entirely to 
emancipate himself from his hereditary feelings. 
His character was combined of many and even 
of contrary qualities. 

His talents were great, but his want of con- 
fidence made them more doubtful to himself 
than to the world ; yet, at times, in his solitary 
musings, he perhaps even exaggerated his 
powers. He was proud, and yet worldly. He 
never forgot that he was a Dacre ; but he de- 
sired to be the architect of his own fortune ; 
and his very love of independence made him, 
at an early period, meditate on the means of 
managing mankind. He was reserved and cold, 
for his imagination required much ; yet he 
panted for a confident, and was one of those 
youths with whom friendship is a passion. To 
conclude, he was a Protestant among Catholics ; 
and although this circumstance, inasmuch as it 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 71 

assisted him in the views which he had early 
indulged, was not an ungracious one, he felt 
that, till he was distinguished, it had lessened 
his consideration, since he could not count 
upon the sympathy of hereditary connections 
and ancient party. Altogether, he was one 
who, with the consciousness of ancient blood, the 
certainty of future fortune, fine talents, great 
accomplishments, and not slight personal ad- 
vantages, was unhappy. Yet, although not of 
a sanguine temper, and occasionally delivered to 
the darkest spleen, his intense ambition sus- 
tained him, and he lived on the hope, and 
sometimes on the conviction, that a bright era 
would, some day, console him for the bitterness 
of his past and present life. 

At school and at college, he equally distin- 
guished himself, and was everywhere respected 
and often regarded : yet he had never found 
that friend on whom his fancy had often busied 
itself, and which one whose alternations of 
feeling were so violent, peremptorily required. 



72 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

His uncle and himself viewed each other with 
mutual respect and regard, but confidence did 
not exist between them. Mr. Dacre, in spite 
of his long and constant efforts, despaired of 
raising in the breast of his nephew the flame of 
filial love ; and had it not been for his daugh- 
ter, who was the only person in the world to 
whom Arundel ever opened his mind, and 
who could, consequently, throw some light upon 
his wants and wishes, it would not have been 
in his power to evince to his nephew, that this 
disappointment had not affected his uncle's 
feelings in his favour. 

When his education was completed, Mr. 
Dacre had wished him to take up his residence 
in Yorkshire, and, in every sense, to act as his 
son, as he was his successor. But Arundel 
declined this proposition. He obtained from his 
father's old political connection the appointment 
of attache to a foreign embassy, and he remain- 
ed on the Continent, with the exception of a 
yearly visit to Yorkshire, three or four years. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 73 

But his views were not in the diplomatic line, 
and this appointment only served as a poh- 
tical school until he could enter Parliament. 
May Dacre had wormed from him his secret, 
and worked with energy in his cause. An op- 
portunity appeared to offer itself, and, under 
the patronage of a Catholic nobleman, he ^vas to 
appear as a candidate for an open borough. It 
was on this business that he had returned to 
England ; but whether he succeeded or not, 
this veritable history will relate another time. 



VOL. II. 



74 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER VII. 

We will go and make a morning call. The 
garish light of day, that never suits a chamber, 
was broken by a muslin veil, which sent its soft- 
ened twilight through a room of moderate di- 
mensions but of princely decoration, and which 
opened into a conservatory. The choice saloon 
was hung with rose-coloured silk, which dif- 
fused a delicate tint over the inlaid and costly 
cabinets. It was crowded with tables, covered 
with bijouterie. Apparently, however, a road 
had been cut through the furniture, by which 
you might wind your way up to the divinity of 
the temple. A ravishing perfume, which was 
ever changing, wandered through the apart- 



THF YOUNG DUKE. 75 

ment. Now a violet breeze made you poetical ; 
now a rosy gale called you to love. And ever 
and anon the strange but thrilling breath of 
some rare exotic summoned you, like an angel, 
to opening Eden. All was still and sweet, save 
that a fountain made you, as it were, more 
conscious of silence — save that the song of 
birds made you, as it were, more sensible of 
sweetness. 

Upon a couch, her small head resting upon 
an arm covered with bracelets, which blazed 
like a Soldan's treasure, reclined Mrs. Dalling- 
ton Vere. 

She is in thought. Is her abstracted eye 
fixed in admiration upon that twinkling foot 
which, clothed in its morocco slipper, looks 
like a serpent''s tongue, small, red, and point- 
ed ; or does a more serious feeling than self- 
admiration inspire this musing ? Ah ! a cloud 
courses over that pellucid brow. 'Tis gone, 
but it frowned like the harbinger of a storm. 
Again ! A small but blood-red blush rises into 
E 2 



76 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

that clear cheek. It was momentary, but its 
deep colour indicated that it came from the 
heart. Her eye lights up with a wild and glit- 
tering fire, but the flash vanishes into dark- 
ness, and gloom follows the unnatural light. 
She clasps her hands ; she rises from an uneasy 
seat, though supported by a thousand pillows, 
and she paces the conservatory. 

A guest is announced. It is Sir Lucius 
Grafton. 

He salutes her with that studied courtesy, 
which shows they are only friends, but which, 
when maintained between intimate acquaint- 
ance, sometimes makes wicked people suspect, 
that they once perhaps were more. She re- 
sumes her seat, and he throws himself into an 
easy chair which is opposite. 

"Your note I this moment received. Bertha, 
and I am here. You perceive that my fidelit}^ 
is as remarkable as ever." 

" We had a gay meeting last night." 

" Very much so. So, Lady Araminta has at 
last shown mercy." 



THE YOUNG DUKR. 77 

" I cannot believe it/' 

" I have just had a note from Challoner, pre- 
liminary, I suppose, to my trusteeship. You are 
not the only person who hold my talents for 
business in high esteem/' 

" But Ballingford what will he say ?'' 

'' That is his affair ; and as he never, to my 
knowledge, spoke to the purpose, his remarks 
now, I suppose, are not fated to be much more 
apropos." 

" Yet he can say things. We all know '"' 

" Yes, yes, we all know, but nobody be- 
lieves. That is the motto of the present day ; 
and the only way to neutralize scandal, and 
to counteract publicity.'^ 

Mrs. Dallington was silent, and looked a little 
uneasy ; and her friend perceiving, that al- 
though she had sent to him so urgent a billet, 
she did not communicate, expressed a little 
surprise. 

" But you wish to see me. Bertha ?^^ 
'* I do very much, Lucy, and to speak to 
you. For these many days, I have intended it > 



78 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

but I do not know how it is, I have postponed 
and postponed our interview. I begin to be- 
lieve," she added, looking up with a faint 
smile, — " I am half afraid to speak."*' 

" Good God !"' said the Baronet, really alarm- 
ed, " you are in no trouble !"" 

" Oh no ! make yourself easy. Trouble — 
trouble ! No — no ! I am not exactly in trou- 
ble. I am not in debt ; I am not in a scrape ; 
but — but — but I am in something, Lucy — 
something worse, perhaps — I am in love." 

The Baronet looked puzzled. He did not 
for a moment suspect himself to be the hero ; 
yet, although their mutual confidence was illi- 
mitable, he did not exactly see why, in the pre- 
sent instance, there had been such urgency to 
impart an event not altogether either unnatural 
or miraculous. 

" In love ['"' said Sir Lucius; " a very pro- 
per situation for the prettiest woman in Lon- 
don. Everybody is in love with you ; and I 
heartily rejoice that some one of our favoured 
sex is about to avenge our sufferings." 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 79 

" Point de moquerie, Lucy ! I am very mise- 
rable." 

" Dear little pigeon, what is the matter P**' 

"Ah! me!" 

"Speak, speak,"' said he in a gay tone; 
" you were not made for sighs, but smiles. 
Begin—" 

" Well, then— the young Duke— " 

" The devil !'" said Lucius, alarmed. 

" Oh ! no ; make yourself easy," said Mrs. 

Dallington, smiling ; " no counterplot, I assure 

you, although really you do not deserve to 

suciceed." 

^" Then, who is it ?" eagerly asked Sir Lucius. 

" You will not let me speak. The young 
Duke—" 

" Damn the Duke !" 

" How impatient you are, Lucy ! I must 
begin with the beginning. AVell, the young 
Duke has something to do v,'ith it." 

" Pray, pray be explicit." 

" In a word, then," said Mrs. Dallington, in 
a low voice, but with an expression of earnest- 



80 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

ness which Sir Lucius had never before re- 
marked, ''I am in love, desperately in love 
with one whom hitherto, in accordance with 
your wishes, I have been driving into the arms 
of another. Our views, our interests are oppo- 
site ; but I wish to act fairly, if possible, — I wish 
to reconcile them ; and it is for this purpose 
that I have summoned you this morning." 

" Arundel Dacre !'" said Sir Lucius quietly, 
and he rapped his cane on his boot. The 
blood-red spot again rose in his companion''s 
cheek. 

There was silence for about a minute. Sir 
Lucius would not disturb it, and Mrs. Dalling-- 
ton again spoke. 

" St. James and the little Dacre have again 
met. You have my secret, Lucy. I do not 
ask your — which I might at another time — 
I do not ask your good services with Arun- 
del ; but you cannot expect me to work against 
myself. Depend, tlien, no longer on my influ- 
ence with May Dacre ; for, to be explicit, as 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 81 

we have always been, most heartily should I 
rejoice to see her a duchess." 

" The point. Bertha," said Sir Lucius, very 
quietly, " is not that I can no longer count 
upon you as an ally ; but I must, I perceive, 
reckon you an opponent." 

" Cannot we prevent this?" asked Mrs. Dal- 
lington with energy. 

*' I see no alternative," said Sir Lucius, shak- 
ing his head with great unconcern. " Time 
will prove who will have to congratulate the 
other." 

" Lucy," said Mrs. Dallington, with brisk- 
ness and decision, "no affectation between us. 
Drop this assumed unconcern. You know — you 
know well, that no incident could occur to you 
at this moment more mortifying than the one I 
have communicated, which deranges your plans, 
and probably may destroy your views. You 
cannot misconceive my motives in making this, 
not very agreeable, communication. I might 
have pursued my object without your know- 
E 5 



82 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

ledge and permission. In a word, I might 
have betrayed you. But with me, every consi- 
deration has yielded to friendship. I cannot 
forget how often, and how successfully, we have 
combined. I should grieve to see our ancient 
and glorious alliance annulled. I am yet in 
hopes that we may both obtain our objects 
through its medium." 

" I am not aware," said Sir Lucius, with 
more feeling, " that I have given you any cause 
to complain of my want of candour. We are 
in a difficult position. I have nothing to sug- 
gest, but I am ready to listen. You know, 
Bertha, how ready I am to adopt all your sug- 
gestions ; and I know how seldom you have 
wanted an expedient." 

*' The little Dacre, then, must not marry her 
cousin : but we cannot flatter ourselves that 
such a girl will not want to marry some one : 
— I have a conviction that this is her decisive 
season. She must be occupied. In a word, 
Lucy, some one must be found." 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 83 

The Baronet started from his chair, and 
nearly knocked down a table. 

" Confound your tables, Bertha," said he, in 
a pettish tone, '' I can never consult in a room 
full of tables." He walked into the conserva- 
tory, and she followed him. He seemed plung- 
ed in thought. They were again silent. Sud- 
denly he seized her hand, and led her back to 
the sofa, on which they both sat down. 

" My dear friend," he said, in a tone of 
agitated solemnity, " I will conceal no longer 
from you what I have sometimes endeavour- 
ed to conceal from myself, I love that girl 

to distraction." 

" You ! Lucy !" 

" Yes ! to distraction. Ever since we first 
met, her image has haunted me. I endeavour- 
ed to crush a feeling, which promised only to 
plunge me into anxiety, and to distract my at- 
tention from my important objects; but in vain, 
in vain. Her unexpected appearance yesterday 
has revived my passion with triple fervour, I 



84 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

have passed a sleepless night, and rise with the 
determination to obtain her." 

" You know your own power, Lucius, better 
perhaps than I do, or the world. We rank it 
high — none higher — yet nevertheless, I look 
upon this declaration as insanity.'** 

He raised her hand to his lips, and pressed it 
with delicate warmth, and summoned his most 
insinuating tone. " With your aid. Bertha, I 
should not despair !" 

" Lucy, I am your friend, perhaps your best 
friend, — but these Dacres. Would it were any 
one but a Dacre ! No, no, this cannot be." 

" Bertha, you know me better than the 
world — I am a rout ; and you — are my friend ; 
but, believe me. I am not quite so vain as to 
indulge for a moment in the idea, that May 
Dacre should be aught to me but what all 
might approve, and all might honour. Yes, 
dove, I intend her for my wife.'" 

" Your wife, Lucy ! You are, indeed, pre- 
mature." 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 85 

" Not quite so premature as you perhaps 
imagine. Know, then, that the great point is 
on the eve of achievement. Urged by the in- 
formation which she thinks she unconsciously 
obtains from Lachen, and harrowed by the 
idea that I am about to tear her from Eng- 
land, she has appealed to the Duke in a manner 
to which they were both unused. Hitherto, 
her docile temper has not permitted her to 
abuse her empire. Now, she exerts her power 
with an energy to which he believed her a 
stranger. He is staggered by his situation. He 
at the same time repents having so rashly en- 
gaged the feelings of a woman, and is flattered 
that he is so loved. They have more than once 
consulted upon the expediency of an elopement." 

" This is good news." 

" Oh ! Bertha, you must feel like me, before 
you can estimate it. Yes !" he clenched his fist 
^vith horrible energy, — " there is no hell like a 
detested wife !" 

They were again silent ; but when she 



86 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

thought that his emotion had subsided, she 
again recalled their consideration to the object 
of their interview. 

" You play a bold game, indeed ; but it shall 
not fail, Lucy, from any deficiency on my part. 
— But how are we to proceed at present? 
Who is to interest the feelings of the little 
Dacre at once ?" 

" Who but her future husband ? What I 
want you to do is this : — we shall call ; but 
prepare the house to receive us not only as 
acquaintances, but as desirable intimates. You 
know what to say. I have an idea, that the 
divine creature entertains no very unfavourable 
opinion of your obedient slave; and with her 
temper, I care not for what she will not probably 
hear, — the passing opinion of a third person. 
I stand at present, thanks to Afy, very high 
with the public ; and you know, although my 
life has not the least altered, that my indiscre- 
tions have now a dash of discretion in them ; 
and a reformed rake, as all agree, is the per- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 87 

sonification of morality. Prepare my way with 
the Dacres, and all will go right. And as for 
this Arundel, I know him not ; but you have 
told me enough to make me consider him the 
most fortunate of men. I cannot conceive that 
there can be any difficulty. You have, I sup- 
pose, to throw your handkerchief. As for love 
between cousins, I laugh at it. A glance from 
you will extinguish the feeble flame, as a sun- 
beam does a fire : and for the rest, the world 
does me the honour to believe, that, if Lucius 
Grafton be remarkable for one thing more than 
another, it is for the influence he attains over 
young minds. I will get acquainted with this 
boy ; and, for once, let love be unattended by 
doubt.^' 

Long was their counsel. The plans we have 
hinted at were analysed, canvassed, weighed, 
and finally matured. They parted after a long 
morning, well aware of the difficulties which 
awaited their fulfilment, but also full of hope. 



88 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Such able and congenial spirits as Mrs. 
Dallington Yere and Sir Lucius Grafton, pro- 
secuted their plans with the success which they 
had a right to anticipate. Lady Aphrodite, 
who was proud of her previous acquaintance, 
however slight, with the most distinguished 
girl in London, and eager to improve it, uncon- 
sciously assisted their operations. Society is so 
constituted, that it requires no little talent, and 
no slight energy, to repel the intimacy even of 
those whose acquaintance is evidently not de- 
sirable ; and there are many people in this world 
mixing, apparently, with great spirit and self- 
esteem, in its concerns, wlio really owe their 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 89 

constant appearance, and occasional influence, 
in circles of consideration, to no other qualities 
than their own callous impudence, and the 
indolence and the irresolution of their victims. 
They, who at the same time have no delicacy 
and no shame, count fearful odds : and, much 
as is murmured about the false estimation of 
riches, there is little doubt that the parvenu 
as often owes his, or rather her, advancement 
in society to her perseverance, as to her pelf. 

When, therefore, your intimacy is courted by 
those whose intimacy is an honour, and that, too, 
■with an art which conceals its purpose, you 
often find that you have, and are, a devoted 
friend, really before you have felt sufficient 
gratitude for the opera-box which has been so 
often lent, the carriage which has been ever at 
hand, the brother who has received such civili- 
ties, or the father who has been requested to 
accept some of the very unattainable tokay, 
which he has charmed you by admiring at your 
own table. 



90 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

The manoeuvres and the tactics of society are 
infinitely more numerous, and infinitely finer than 
those of strategy. Woe betide the rash knight, 
who dashes into the thick of the polished melte 
without some slight experience of his barb and 
his lance ! Let him look to his arms ! He will 
do well not to appear, before his helm be plumed 
with some reputation, however slight. He may 
be very rich, or even very poor. I have seen 
that answer with a Belisarius like air ; and more 
than one hero without an obolus has stumbled 
u|X)n a fortune, merely from his contempt of 
riches. If to fight, or write, or dress, be above 
ycru, why, then, you can ride, or dance, or even 
skate ; but do not think, as many young gen- 
tlemen are apt to believe, that talking will 
serve your purpose. That is the quicksand of 
your young beginners. All can talk in a pub- 
lic assembly, that is to say, all can give us ex- 
hortations which do not move, and arguments 
Vr'hich do not convince ; but to converse in a 
private assembly is a very different affair, and 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 91 

rare are the characters who can be endured, if 
they exceed a whisper to their neighbours. 
But though mild and silent, be ever ready 
with the rapier of repartee, and be ever armed 
with the breastplate of good temper. You will 
infallibly gather laurels, if you add to these 
the spear of sarcasm, and the shield of 
nonchalance. 

The high style of conversation where eloquence 
QXiA. philosophy emulate each other, where prin- 
ciples are profoundly expounded, and felici- 
tously illustrated, all this has ceased. It ceased 
in this country with Johnson and Burke, and it 
requires a Johnson and a Burke for its main- 
tenance. There is no mediocrity in such dis- 
course, — no intermediate character between the 
sage and the bore. The second style, where 
men, not things, are the staple, but where wit, 
and refinement, and sensibility, invest even 
personal details with intellectual interest, does 
flourish at present, as it always must in a high- 
ly civilized society. S. is, or rather was, a 



92 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

fine specimen of this school, and M. and L. are 
his worthy rivals. This style is indeed, for the 
moment, excessively interesting. Then comes 
your conversation man, who, I confess, is my 
aversion. His talk is a thing apart, got up be- 
fore he enters the company, from whose conduct 
it should grow out. He sits in the middle of a 
large table, and, with a brazen voice, bawls out 
his anecdotes, about Sir Thomas, or Sir Hum- 
phry, Lord Blank, or my Lady Blue. He is 
incessant, yet not interesting ; ever varying, yet 
always monotonous. Even if we are amused, 
we are no more grateful for the entertainment, 
than we are to the lamp over the table, for the 
light which it universally sheds, and to yield 
whidi, it was obtained on purpose. We are 
more gratified by the slight conversation of one 
who is often silent, but who speaks from his 
momentary feelings, than by all this hullabal- 
loo. Yet this machine is generally a favourite 
piece of furniture with the hostess. I have 
often caught her eye, as he recounts some ad- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 93 

venture of the morning, which proves that he 
not onl}' belongs to every club, but goes to 
them, light up with approbation ; and then, when 
the ladies withdrew, and the female senate de- 
liver their criticism upon the late actors, she 
will observe, with a gratified smile, to her con- 
fidante, that the dinner went off well, and that 
Mr. Bellow was very strong to-day ! 

All this is horrid, and the whole afiair is a 
delusion. A variety of people are brought to- 
gether, who all come as late as possible, and 
retire as soon, merely to show they have other 
engagements. A dinner is prepared for them, 
which is hurried over, in order that a certain 
number of dishes should be — not tasted, but seen ; 
and provided that there is no moment that an 
absolute silence reigns ; provided that, besides 
the bustling of the servants, the clattering of 
the plates and knives, a stray anecdote is told, 
which, if good, has been heard before, and 
which, if new, is generally flat ; provided a 
certain number of certain names of people of 



94 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

consideration are introduced, by which some 
stranger, for whom the party is often secretly 
given, may learn the scale of civilization of 
which he this moment forms a part ; provided 
the senators do not steal out too soon to the 
House, and their wives to another party, the 
hostess is congratulated on the success of her 
entei'tainment. 

And this glare, and heat, and noise — this 
congeries of individuals without sympathy, and 
dishes without flavour — this is society ! What 
an effect without a cause ! A man must be 
very green, indeed, to stand this for two sea- 
sons. I cannot help thinking, that one conse- 
quence of the increased intelligence of the pre- 
sent day will be a great change in the habits 
of our intercourse. 

After all, all conversation is an effort, and 
all efforts, in the long run, are wearying. The 
only exception is, when we interchange ideas 
with some individual with whom we deeply sym- 
pathize. This, perhaps, is even superior to 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 95 

reverie ; for we express, without artifice, all 
that we feel, and gauge, at the same time, the 
'value of our ideas. But such communion must 
be ever rare. What delightful hours have I 
not passed in this manner, when pacing the 
Terrace at , with the amiable and interest- 
ing * * * * J How readily does his learned 
spirit supply, at all times, facts for all specu- 
lations — develope the imperfect, confirm the 
doubtful, illustrate the obscure ! How beauti- 
fully does the calm candour of his philosophic 
mind repress the passionate inference, or the 
prejudiced conclusion ! How agreeably does 
his deep experience of all his great and gootl 
contemporaries mingle with his unrivalled know- 
ledge of the great and good of all ages ! In a 
lot with which I am not altogether dissatisfied, 
there is, to me, no subject of more thorough 
self-gratulation, than that the being who is 
entitled to my most devoted affections should 
not be a bore. 

Oh, my father! in these refined regions, where 



96 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

I breathe clear and classic air, I think of thee. 
A poor return for infinite affection ! And yet, 
our friendship is a hallowed joy: — it is my 
pride, and let it be thy solace. O'er the waters 
that cannot part our souls, I breathe good 
wishes. Peace brood o'er thy lettered bowers, 
and Love smile in the cheerful hall, that I shall 
not forget upon the swift Symplegades, or where 
warm Syria, with its palmy shore, recalls our 
holy ancestry ! 

To our tale — to our tale : we linger. Few 
who did not know too much of Sir Lucius Graf- 
ton could refrain from yielding him their re- 
gard when he chose to challenge it, and with 
the Dacres he was soon an acknowledged fa- 
vourite. As a new M. P., and hitherto doubt- 
ful supporter of the Catholic cause, it was 
grateful to Mr. Dacre's feelings to find in him 
an ally, and flattering to Mr. Dacre's judgment, 
when that ally ventured to consult him on his 
friendly operations. With Miss Dacre, he was 
a mild, amiable man, who knew the world ; 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 97 

thoroughly good, but void of cant, and owner 
of a virtue not less to be depended on because 
his passions had once been strong, and he had 
once indulged them. His experience of life 
made him value domestic felicity; because he 
knew that there was no other source of happi- 
ness which was at once so pure and so perma- 
nent. But he was not one of those men who 
consider marriage as an extinguisher of all those 
feelings and accomplishments which throw a 
lustre on existence; and he did not consider 
himself bound, because he had plighted hi.^ 
faith to a beautiful woman, immediately to ter- 
minate the very conduct which had induced her 
to join him in the sacred and eternal pledge. 
His gaiety still sparkled, his wit still flashed : 
still he hastened to be foremost among the cour- 
teous; and still his high and ready gallantry 
indicated that he was not prepared to yield the 
fitting ornament of his still blooming youth. A 
thousand unobtrusive and delicate attentions 
which the innocent now received from him with- 
VOL. II. F 



98 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

out a thought, save of liady Aphrodite's good 
fortune ; a thousand gay and sentimental axioms, 
which proved not only how agreeable he was, 
but how enchanting he must have been ; a thou- 
sand little deeds which struggled to shun the 
light, and which palpably demonstrated that 
the gaiety of his wit, the splendour of his ac- 
complishments, and the tenderness of his soul, 
v.cre only equalled by his unbounded genero- 
sity and unparalleled good temper, — all these 
combined had made Sir Lucius Grafton, to 
many, always a delightful, often a dangerous, 
and sometimes a fatal, companion. He was one 
of those whose candour is deadly. It was when 
he least endeavoured to conceal his character 
that its hideousness least appeared. He con- 
fessed sometimes so much, that you yielded 
that pity, which, ere the shrived culprit could 
receive, by some fatal alchymy, was changed 
into passion. His smile was a lure, his speech 
was a spell ; but it was when he was silent, and 
almost gloomy, when you caught his serious 



THE YOU>'G DUKE. 99 

eye, charged, as it were, with passion, gazing 
on yours, that if you had a guardian sylph, 
you should have invoked its aid ; and, I pray, 
if ever you meet the man of whom I write. 
your invocation may not be forgotten, or be, 
what is more likely — too late. 

The Dacres, this season, were the subject of 
universal conversation. She was the distin- 
guished beauty, and the dandies all agreed, 
that his dinners were worthy of his daughter. 
Lady Fitz-pompey was not behind the wel- 
coming crowd. She was too politic a leader 
not to feel anxious to enlist under her colours a 
recruit who was so calculated to maintain the 
reputation of her forces. Fitz-pompey House 
must not lose its character for assembling the 
most distinguished, the most agreeable, and the 
most refined, — and May Dacre was a divinity 
who would summon many a crov.d to her niche 
in this Pantheon of Fashion. 

If any difficulty were for a moment antici- 
pated in bringing about this arrangement, a 
F 2 



100 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

fortunate circumstance seemed sufficient to re- 
move it. Lord St. Maurice and Arundel Dacre 
had been acquainted at Vienna, and though the 
intimacy was slight, it was sweet. St. Maurice 
had received many favours from the attache^ 
and as he was a man of family and reputation, 
had been very happy to greet him on his arri- 
val in London. Before the Dacres made their 
appearance in town for the season, Arundel had 
been initiated in the mysteries of Fitz-pompey 
House, and therefore a desire from that mansion 
to cultivate the good graces of his Yorkshire 
relations, seemed not only not forced, but ex- 
tremely natural. So, the families met, and, 
to the surprise of each other, became even inti- 
mate, — for INIay Dacre and Lady Caroline soon 
evinced a mutual regard for each other. Fe- 
male friendships are of rapid growth, and in 
the present instance, when there was nothing 
on each side which was not loveable, it was 
quite miraculous, and the friendship, particu- 
larly on the part of Lady Caroline, shot up in 
one night, like a blooming aloe. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 101 

I think there is nothing more lovely than the 
love of two beautiful women, who are not envi- 
ous of each other's charms. How delightfully 
they impart to each other the pattern of a cap, 
or flounce, or frill ! how charmingly they en- 
trust some slight, slender secret about tinting a 
flower, or netting a purse ! Now one leans over 
the other, and guides her inexperienced hand, 
£is it moves in the mysteries of some novel work, 
and then the other looks up with an eye beam- 
ing with devotion ; and then again the first leans 
down a little lower, and gently presses her aro- 
matic lips upon her friend''s polished forehead. 
These are sights which we quiet men, who, like 
*■' small Jack Horner," know where to take up a 
safe position, occasionally enjoy, but which your 
noisy fellows, who think that women never want 
to be alone — a sad mistake — and consequently 
must be always breaking or stringing a guitar, 
or cutting a pencil, or splitting a crow quill, or 
overturning the gold ink, or scribbling over a 
pattern, or doing any other of the thousand 
acts of mischief, are debarred from. 



102 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Not that these bright flowers often bloomed 
alone — a blossom not less brilliant generally 
shared with them the same parterre. Mrs. 
Dallington completed the bouquet, and Arundel 
Dacre was the butterfly, who, she was glad to 
perceive, was seldom absent, when her presence 
added beauty to the beautiful. Indeed, she 
had good reason to feel confidence in her attrac- 
tions. Independent of her charms, which assur- 
edly were great, her fortune, which was even 
greater, possessed, she was well aware, no 
slight allurement to one who ever trembled 
when he thought of his dependence, and often 
glowed when he mused over his ambition. 
His slight but increasing notice was duly esti- 
mated by one who was perfectly acquainted 
with his peculiar temper, and daily perceived 
how disregardful he was of all others, except her 
and his cousin. But a cousin ! She felt perfect 
confidence in the theory of Sir Lucius Grafton. 

And the young Duke — have we forgotten 
him ? Sooth to say, he was very seldom with our 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 103 

heroine or heroines. He had called on Mr. Dacre, 
and had greeted him with marked cordiality, 
and he had sometimes met him and his daughter 
in society. But although invited, he had hi- 
therto avoided being their visitor; and the 
comparatively secluded life which he now led 
prevented him from seeing them often at other 
houses. Mr. Dacre, who was unaware of what 
had passed between him and his daughter, 
thought his conduct inexplicable ; but his for- 
mer guardian remembered, that it was not the 
first time that his behaviour had been unusual ; 
and it was never the disposition of Mr. Dacre 
to promote explanations. 

Our hero felt annoyed at his own weakness. 
It would have been infinitely more worthy of so 
celebrated, so unrivalled a personage as the 
Duke of St. James, not to have given the 
woman who had rejected him this evidence of 
her power. According to etiquette, he should 
have called there daily, and have dined there 
weekly, and yet never have given the former 



104 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

object of his adoration the slightest idea that 
he cared a breath for her presence. According 
to etiquette, he should never have addressed 
her but in a vein of persiflage, and with a 
smile, which indicated his perfect heartease, 
and her bad taste. According to etiquette, he 
should have flirted with every woman in her 
company, rode with her in the Park, walked 
with her in the Gardens, chatted with her at 
the Opera, and champaigned with her on the 
river ; and finally, to prove how sincere he was 
in his former estimation of her judgment, have 
consulted her on the presents which he should 
make to some intimate friend of hers, whom he 
announces as his future bride. This is the way 
to manage a woman ; and the result may be con- 
ceived. She stares, she starts, she sighs, she 
weeps ; feels highly offended at her friend daring 
to accept him ; writes a letter of rejection her- 
self to the affianced damsel, which she makes 
him sign, and then presents him with the hand 
which she always meant to be his. 



THE YOUNG DIKE. 105 

But this was above our hero. The truth is. 



whenever he thought of May Dacre, his spirit 
sank. She had cowed him ; and her arrival in 
London had made him as dissatisfied with his 
present mode of life, as he had been with his 
former career. They had met again, and under 
circumstances apparently, to him, the most 
unfavourable. Although he was hopeless, yet 
he dreaded to think what she might hear of 
him. Her contempt was bitter ; her dislike 
would even be worse. Yet it seemed impos- 
sible to retrieve. He was plunged deeper than 
he imagined. Embarrassed, entangled, in- 
volved, he flew to Lady Afy, half in pique, 
and half in misery. Passion had ceased to 
throw a glittering veil around this idol ; but 
she was kind, and pure, and gentle, and de- 
voted. It was consoling to be loved, to one 
who was so wretched. It seemed to him, that 
life must ever be a blank without the woman 
who, a few^ months ago, he had felt an en- 
cumbrance. The recollection of past joys was 
F 5 



106 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

balm to one who was so forlorn. He shud- 
dered at the thought of losing his only pre- 
cious possession, and he was never more at- 
tached to his mistress, than when the soul of 
friendship rose from the body of expired love. 



THE YOUNG DUKK. 107 



CHAPTER IX. 

The Duke of St. James dines to-day with 
Mr. Annesley. ^Men and things should be our 
study ; and it is universally acknowledged, that 
a dinner is tlie most important of affairs, and a 
dandy the most important of individuals. If I 
liked, I could give you a description of the ftte, 
which should make all your mouths water, — and 
my cookery has been admired in its day, which 
was right ; because my gastronomical details 
were the reminiscences of experience, and not 
of reading : but every one cooks now, and ekes 
out his page by robbing Jarrin, and In' rifling 
Dolby. 

Charles Annesley was never seen to more ad- 



108 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

vantage than when a host. Then his supercili- 
ousness would, if not vanish, at least, subside. 
He was not less calm, but somewhat less cold, 
like a summer lake. Therefore we will have 
an eye upon his party ; because, to dine with 
dandies should be a prominent feature in your 
career, and must not be omitted in this sketch 
of the " Life and Times" of our young hero. 

The party was of that number which at once 
secures a variety of conversation, and the im- 
possibility of two persons speaking at the same 
time. The guests were— his Grace, Lord Squib, 
and Lord Darrell. 

The repast, like every thing connected with 
Mr. Annesley, was refined, and exquisite, rather 
slight than solid, and more novel than various. 
There was no affectation of gourmajidise, the 
vice of male dinners. Your imagination and 
your sight were not at the same time dazzled 
and confused by an agglomeration of the pecu- 
liar luxuries of every clime and every season. 
As you mused over a warm and sunny flavour 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 109 

of a brown soup, your host did not dilate upon 
the milder and moonlight beauties of a white 
one, A gentle dallying with a whiting — that 
chicken of the ocean, was not a signal for a pa- 
negyric of the darker attraction of a matelotte cl 
la royale. The disappearance of the first course 
did not herald a catalogue of discordant dain- 
ties. You were not recommended to neglect 
the croquettes^ because the boudins might claim 
attention ; and while you were crowning your 
important labours with a quail, you were not 
reminded that the pate de Troi/es, unlike the 
less reasonable human race, would feel offend- 
ed if it were not cut. Then the wines were 
few. Some sherry, with a pedigree like an 
Arabian, heightened the flavour of the dish, 
not interfered with it ; as a Toadey keeps up 
the conversation, which he does not distract. A 
goblet of Graff enburg, with a bouquet like wo- 
man''s breath, made you, as you remembered 
some liquid which it had been your fate to fall 
upon, suppose that German wines, like Ger- 



110 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

man barons, required some discrimination, and 
that hock, like other titles, was not always the 
sign of the high nobility of its owner. A glass 
of claret was the third grace. But if I had 
been there, I should have devoted myself to 
one of the sparkling sisters ; for I think that 
one wine, like one woman, is sufficient to inte- 
rest our feelings for four-and-twenty hours. 
Fickleness, I abhor. 

" I observed you riding to-day with the gen- 
tle Leonora, St. James," said Mr. Annesley. 

" No ! her sister." 

" Indeed ! Those girls are uncommonly alike. 
The fact is now, that neither face nor figure 
depends upon nature." 

"No," said Lord Squib; "all that the 
artists of the present day want is a model. Let 
a family provide one handsome sister, and the 
hideousness of the others will not prevent them, 
under good management, from being mistaken, 
by the best judges, for the beauty, six times in 
the same hour." 



THE YOUNG DUKE. Ill 

" You are trying, I suppose, to account for 
your unfortunate error at Cleverley's, on ^Ion- 
day, Squib," said Lord Darrell, laughing. 

'' Pooh ! pooh ! all nonsense." 

" What was it r" said Mr. Annesley. 

" Not a word true," said Lord Squib, stifling 
curiosity. 

" I believe it," said the Duke, without hav- 
ing heard a syllable. "Come Darrell, out 
with it !" 

"It really is nothing very particular,— only, 
it is whispered, that Squib said something to 
Lady Cleverley, which made her ring the bell, 
and that he excused himself to his Lordship by 
protesting, that from their similarity of dress 
and manner, and strong family likeness, he had 
mistaken the Countess for her sister." 

Omties. " AVell done, Squib ! And were you 
introduced to the right person ?" 

" Why," said his Lordship, " fortunately, I 
contrived to fall out about the settlements, and 
so, I escaped." 



112 THK YOUNG DUKE. 

" So the chaste Diana is to be the new 
patroness/' said Lord Darrell. 

" So I understand,""* rejoined Mr. Annesley. 
" This is the age of unexpected appointments." 

" On (lit, that when it was notified to the 
party most interested, there was a rider to the 
bill, excluding my Lord's relations.'' 

" Ha, ha, ha," faintly laughed Mr. Annes- 
ley. — " What have they been doing so very 
particular T'' 

" Nothing," said Lord Squib. " That is just 
their fault. They have every recommendation ; 
but wlien any member of that family is in a 
room, every body feels so exceedingly sleepy, 
that they all sink to the ground. That is the 
reason that there are so many Ottomans at 
Heavyside House." 

" Is it true," asked the Duke, " that his 
Grace really has a flapper .p" 

" Most unquestionably," said Lord Squib. 
" The other day I was announced, and his at- 
tendant was absent. He had left his instrument 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 113 

on a sofa. I immediately took it up, and touch- 
ed my Lord up on his iiump. I never knew 
him more entertaining. He really was quite 
lively." 

" But Diana is a favourite goddess of mine," 
said Annesley,— " taste that Hock." 

*' Superb ! Where did you get it ?" 

" A present from poor RafFenburg." 

" Ah ! where is he now ?^'' 

" At Paris, I beheve." 

" Paris ! and where is she .^" 

" I Uked RafFenburg," said Lord Squib ; " he 
always reminded me of a country innkeeper wlio 
supplies you with pipes and tobacco gratis, pro- 
vided that you will dine with him." 

'^ He had unrivalled Meerschaums," said 
Mr. Annesley, " and he w^as most liberal. 
There are two. — You know, I never use them, 
— but they are handsome furniture." 

" Those Champagnys are fine girls," said the 
Duke of St. James. 

" Very pretty creatures ! Do you know, St. 



114 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

James," said Annesley, " I think the youngest 
one something like May Dacre ?'" 

" Indeed ! I cannot say the resemblance 
struck me." 

" I see old mother Champagny dresses her 
as much like the Doncastcr belle, as she pos- 
sibly can." 

" Yes, and spoils her," said Lord Squib ; 
" but old mother Champagny, with all her 
fuss, was ever a bad cook, and overdid every 
thino^." 

" Young Champagny, they say," observed 
Lord Darrell, " is in a sort of a scrape." 

"Ah! what?" 

" Oh ! some confusion at head-quarters. — A 
great tallow-chandler's son got into the regiment, 
and committed some heresy at mess." 

" Champagny is in want of tlie loan of a 
thousand pounds, I suppose," said Mr. An- 
nesley. 

" I do not know the brother," said tlie 
Duke. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 115 

" You are very fortunate, then. He is one 
of those unendurables, fit only for a regiment. 
To give you an idea of him — - suppose you met 
him here, (which you never will,) he would 
write to you the next day, 'My dear St. James."* " 

" My tailor presented me his best compli- 
ments, the other morning,'''' said the Duke. 

" The world is growing too familiar," said 
Mr. Annesley. 

" There must be some great remedy," said 
Lord Darrell. 

" Yes !" said Lord Squib, with still greater 
indignation. " Tradesmen, now-a-days, console 
themselves for not getting their bills paid, by 
asking their customers to dinner." 

'• It is very shocking," said Mr. Annesley, 
with a forlorn air : " do you know ? I never 
enter society now, without taking as many 
preliminary precautions, as if the plague raged 
in all our chambers. In vain have I hitherto 
prided myself on my existence being unknown 
to the million. I never now stand still in a 



116 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Street, lest my portrait be caught for a litho- 
graph ; I never venture to a strange dinner, lest 
I should stumble upon a fashionable novelist : 
and even with all this vigilance, and all this 
denial, I have an intimate friend whom I can- 
not cut, and who, they say, writes for the Court 
Journal." 

" But why cannot you cut him ?"' asked Lord 
Darrell. 

" He is my brother ; and, you know, I pride 
myself upon my domestic feelings.'" 

" Yes V said Lord Squib, — " to judge from 
what the world says, one would think, Annes- 
ley, you were a Brummell !" 

" Squib, not even in jest, couple my name 
with one whom I will not call a savage, merely 
because he is unfortunate." 

" What did you tliink of little Eugenie, 
Annesley, last night ?" asked the Duke. 

" Very well — very well, indeed — something 
like Brocard's worst.'' 

" I was a little disappointed in her dt/jut, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 117 

and much interested in her success. She was 
rather a favourite of mine at Paris, so I took 
her home to the Alhambra yesterday, with 
a whole bevy, and Claudius Piggott and Co. 
I had half a mind to pull you in, but I know 
you do not much admire Piggott."" 

" On the contrary, 1 have been in Piggott's 
company, without being very much offended." 

" I think Piggott improves,'' said Lord Dar- 
rell. " It was those waistcoats which excited 
such a prejudice against him, when he first came 
over.'" 

" AVhat ! a prejudice against Peacock Pig- 
gott !" said Lord Squib — "pretty Peacock 
Piggott ! Tell it not in Gath : whisper it not 
in Ascalon — and, above all, insinuate it not to 
Lady de Courcy.^** 

" There is not much danger of my insinua- 
ting anything to her," said Mr. Annesley. 

" Your compact, I hope, is religiously ob- 
served," said the Duke. 

" Yes — very well. There was a slight in- 



118 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

fraction once, but I sent Henry Fitzroy as an 
ambassador^ and war was not declared." 

" Do you mean," asked Lord Squib, " when 
your cabriolet broke down before her door, and 
she sent out to request that you would make 
yourself quite at home ?*" 

" I mean that fatal day," replied Mr. Annes- 
ley. '^ I afterwards discovered she had bribed 
my Tiger." 

'• Do you know Eugenie's sister, St. James ?" 
asked Lord Darrell. 

" Yes : she is very clever, indeed — very 
popular at Paris. But I like Eugenie, because 
she is so good-natured. That girl always laughs 
so ! One good grin from her always cures my 
spleen I" 

" You should buy her, then," said his host, 
'^ for she must be invaluable. For my part, I 
consider existence a bore." 

" So it is," said Lord Squib. " Do you 
remember that girl at Madrid, Annesley .^" 

" What, Isidora ! She is coming over."" 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 119 

" But 1 thought it was high treason to plun- 
der the grandees' dovecotes ?" 

" Why, all our regular official negotiations 
have failed. She is not permitted to treat with 
a foreign manager ; but the new ambassador has 
a secretary, and that secretary has a penchant^ 
and so — Isidora is to be smuggled over."" 

" In a red box, I suppose," said Lord 
Squib. 

" I rather admire our Adele," said the Duke 
of St. James. 

" Oh ! certainly ; she is a favourite of 
mine." 

" But I like that wild little Ducis," said 
Lord Squib. " She puts me in mind of a 
wild cat.'' 

" And Marunia, of a Bengal tiger," said 
his Grace. 

'* She is a fine woman, though," said Lord 
Darrell. 

" I think your cousin, St. James," said Lord 
Squib, " will get into a scrape with Marunia. 



120 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

I remember Chetwynd telling me, — and he 
was not apt to complain on that score, — that he 
never should have broken up, if it had not 
been for her." 

" But he was a most extravagant scoundrel,"" 
said Mr. Annesley : " he called me in at his 
bouleversement for advice, as I have the reputa- 
tion of a good economist. I do not know how it 
is, though I see these things perpetually happen ; 
but why men, and men of small fortunes, should 
commit such follies, really exceeds my compre- 
hension. Ten thousand pounds for trinkets, 
and half as much for old furniture ! Why, this 
is worse than SquiVs bill of seventeen hundred 
pounds for snuff !" 

" It was not seventeen hundred pounds, 
Annesley : that included cigars." 

" Chetwynd kept it up a good many years, 
though, I think,'' said Lord Darrell. *' I re- 
member going to see his rooms, when I first 
came over. You recollect his mother-of-pearl 
fountain of Cologne water .^'' 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 121 

" Mille Colonnes fitted up his place, I 
think ?"' asked the young Duke, — " but it was 
before my time.""' 

" Oh! yes, Httle Bijou,'' said Annesley. " He 
has done you justice, St. James. I think the 
Alhambra much the prettiest thing in town." 

" I was attacked the other day most vigor- 
ously by Mrs. Dallington to obtain a sight,'' 
said Lord Squib. " I referred her to Lucy 
Grafton. — Do you know, St. James, I have 
half a strange idea, that there is a renewal 
in that quarter .-" 

" So they say," said the Duke; " if so, I 
confess I am surprised." But they remember- 
ed Lord Darrell, and the conversation turned. 

" These are pretty horses of Lincoln Graves," 
said Mr. Annesley. 

" Neat cattle, as Bagshot says," observed 
Lord Squib. 

" Is it true that Bag is going to marry one 
of the Wrekins .^" asked the Duke. 

'' Which .^" asked Lord Squib ; '• not Sophy, 

VOL. Ti. G 



122 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

surely ? I thought she was to be your cousin. 
I dare say," he added, "• a false report. I 
suppose, to use a Bagshotism, his governor 
wants it ; but I should think Lord Cub would 
not yet be taken in. By the by, he says you 
have promised to propose him at White's, 
St. James." 

" Oppose him, I said," rejoined the Duke. 
" Bag really never understands English. How- 
ever, I think it as probable that he will lounge 
in the bow-window, as on the Treasury bench. 
That was his 'governor's' last shrewd plan." 

" Darrell," said Lord Squib, " is there any 
chance of my being a Commissioner for any 
thing.? It struck me last night, that 1 had 
never been in office." 

" I do not think. Squib, that you ever will be 
in office, if even you be appointed." 

" On the contrary, my good fellow, my 
punctuality should surprise you. I should 
like very much to be a lay-lord, because I 
cannot afford to keep a yacht, and theirs, they 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 123 

say, are not sufficiently used, for the Admirals 
think it spooney, and the land-lubbers are 
always sick.'' 

*' I think myself of sporting a yacht this 
summer,*' said the Duke of St. James. '^ Be 
my captain. Squib.'' 

" Agreed ! Really, if you be serious, I will 
commence my duties to-morrow." 

" I am serious. I think it will be rather 
amusing. I give you full authority to do ex- 
actly what you like, provided, in t"/o months' 
time, I have the best vessel in the club ; 
copper-bottom, crack crew, and ten knots an 
hour." 

" You are all witnesses," said Lord Squib, 
" and so I begin to press. Annesley,your dinner 
is so good, that you shall be purser ; and Dar- 
reil, you are a man of business, — you shall be 
purser's clerk. For the rest, I think St. Mau- 
rice may claim a place, and " 

" Peacock Piggott, by all means," said the 
Duke. " A gay sailor is quite the thing." 
G 2 



124 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

" And Henry Fitzroy/' said Annesley, ^' be- 
cause I am under obligations to him, and pro- 
mised to have him in my eye/^ 

" And Bagshot for a butt," said the Duke. 

" And Backbite for a buffoon,'" said Mr. 
Annesley. 

" And for the rest," said the young Duke, 
" the rest of the crew, I vote shall be women. 
The Champagnys will just do." 

" And tlie little Trevors," said Lord Dar- 
rell. 

" And Long Harrington," said Lord Squib. 
" She is my beauty." 

" And the young Ducie," said Annesley. 
" And Mrs. Dallington of course, and Caro- 
line St. INIaurice, and Charlotte Bloomerly ; 
really, she was dressed most prettily last night ; 
and, above all, the Queen Bee of the hive — May 
Dacre, eh! St. James? And I have another 
proposition," said Annesley with increased and 
unusual animation. " May Dacre won the St. 
Leger, and ruled the course; and May Dacre 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 125 

shall win the cup, and rule the waves. Our 
yacht shall be christened by the Lady Bird of 
Yorkshire.'' 

" What a delightful thing it would be," said 
the Duke of St. James, " if, throughout life, 
we might always choose our crew ; cull the 
beauties, and banish the bores." 

" But that is impossible," said Lord Darrell. 
" Every ornament of society is counterbalanced 
by some accompanying blur. I have invariably 
observed, that the ugliness of a chaperori is 
exactly in proportion to the charms of her 
charge ; and that if a man be distinguished for 
his wit, his appearance, his style, or any other 
good quality, he is sure to be saddled with 
some family or connection, who require all his 
popularity to gain them a passport into the 
crowd." 

" One might collect a very unexceptionable 
coterie from our present crowd," said Mr. 
Annesley. " It would be curious to assemble 
all the pet lambs of the flock." 



126 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

" Is it impossible ?" asked the Duke. 

" Burlington is the only man who dare try," 
said Lord Darrell. 

" I doubt whether any individual would have 
sufficient pluck," said Lord Squib. 

" Yes," said the Duke, " it must, I think, 
be a joint-stock company to share the glory 
and the odium. Let us do it !" 

There was a start, and a silence, broken by 
Annesley in a low voice. 

" By Heavens, it would be sublime — if 
practicable ; but the difficulty does indeed seem 
insurmountable." 

" Why, we would not do it," said the young 
Duke, " if it were not difficult. The first 
thing is to get a frame for our picture, to hit 
upon some happy pretence for assembling in 
an impromptu style the young and gay. Our 
purpose must not be too obvious. It must be 
something to which all expect to be asked, and 
where the presence of all is impossible; so 
that in fixing upon a particular member of a 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 127 

family, we may seem influenced by the wish, 
that no circle should be neglected. Then, too, 
it should be something like a water-party or a 
fete-champetre, where colds abound, and fits 
are always caught, so that a consideration for 
the old and the infirm may authorize us not 
to invite them ; then too — 

Omnes. *' Bravo ! bravo ! St. James. It 
shall be ! it shall be !" 

" It must be afete-champetre,'" said Annesley, 
decidedly, " and as far from town as possible.'' 

" Twickenham is at your service," said the 
Duke. 

'' Just the place, and just the distance. The 
only objection is, that by being yours, it will 
saddle the enterprise too much upon you. We 
must all bear our share in the uproar, for, trust 
me, there will be one ; but there are a thousand 
ways by which our responsibility may be in- 
sisted upon. For instance, let us make a list 
of all our guests, and then let one of us act as 
secretary, and sign the invitations, which shall 



128 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

be like tickets. No other name need appear, 
and tlie hosts will indicate themselves at the 
place of rendezvous." 

" My Lords," said Lord Squib, " I rise to 
propose the health of Mr. Secretary Annesley, 
and 1 think if any one carry the business 
through, it will be he."' 

" I accept the trust. At present, gentlemen, 
be silent as night ; for we have too much to 
mature, and our success depends upon our 
secrecy." 



THE YOUNG DUKE 129 



CHAPTER X. 

Arundel Dacre, though little apt to cul- 
tivate an acquaintance with any one, called on 
the young Duke the morning after their meet- 
ing. The truth is, his imagination was touch- 
ed by our hero's appearance. His Grace pos- 
sessed all that accomplished manner of which 
he painfully felt the want, and to which he 
eagerly yielded his admiration. He earnestly 
desired the Duke's friendship, but with his 
usual mauvaise honte, their meeting did not 
advance his wishes. He was as shy and con- 
strained as usual, and being really desirous of 
appearing to advantage, and leaving an impres- 
sion in his favour, his manner was even divest- 
G 5 



130 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

cd of that somewhat imposing coldness, which 
was not altogether ineffective. In short, he 
was extremely disagreeable. The Duke was 
courteous, as he usually was, and ever to the 
Dacres, but he was not cordial. He disliked 
Arundel Dacre, — in a word, he looked upon 
him as his favoured rival. The two young 
men occasionally met, but did not grow more 
intimate. Studiously polite the young Duke 
ever was both to him and to his lovely cousin, 
for his pride concealed his pique, and he was 
always afraid lest his manner should betray 
his mind. 

In the mean time, Sir Lucius Grafton appa- 
rently was running his usual course of triumph. 
It is fortunate that those who will watch and 
wonder about every thing, are easily satisfied 
with a reason, and are ever quick in detecting 
a cause : so Mrs. Dallington Vere was the fact, 
that duly accounted for the Baronet's intimacy 
with tlie Dacres. All was right again between 
them. It was unusual, to be sure — these rifaci- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 131 

mentos ; still she was a charming woman ; and it 
was well known that Lucius had spent twenty 
thousand on the county. Where was that to 
come from, they should like to know, but from 
old Dallington Yere's Yorkshire estates, which 
he had so wisely left to his pretty wife by the 
pink paper codicil ? 

And this lady of so many loves, — how felt 
she ? Most agreeably, as all dames do who 
dote upon a passion, which they feel convinced 
will be returned, but which still waits for a 
response. Arundel Dacre would yield her a 
smile from a face more worn by thought than 
joy ; and Arundel Dacre, who was wont to muse 
alone, was now ever ready to join his cousin 
and her friends in the ride or the promenade. 
Miss Dacre, too, had noticed to her a kindly 
change in her cousin's conduct to her father. 
He was more cordial to his uncle, sought to 
pay him deference, and seemed more desirous 
of gaining his good-will. The experienced eye, 
too, of this pretty woman allowed her often to 



132 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

observe that her hero's presence was not parti- 
cularly occasioned, or particularly inspired, by 
his cousin. In a word, it was to herself that 
his remarks were addressed, his attentions 
devoted, and often she caught his dark and 
liquid eye fixed upon her beaming and reful- 
gent brow. 

Sir Lucius Grafton proceeded with that 
strange mixture of craft and passion, whicli 
characterised him. Each day, his heart yearn- 
ed more for the being on whom his thoughts 
should never have pondered. Now exulting 
in her increased confidence, she seemed already 
his victim ; now awed by her majestic spirit, 
he despaired even of her being his bride. Now 
melted by her unsophisticated innocence, he 
cursed even the least unhallowed of his pur- 
poses ; and now enchanted by her consummate 
loveliness, he forgot all but her beauty and his 
own passion. 

Often had he dilated to her, witli tlie skill of 
an arch deceiver, on tlie blessings of domestic 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 133 

joy ; often, in her presence, had his eye spark- 
led, when he watched the infantile graces of 
some playfid children. Then he would em- 
brace them with a soft care and gushing fond- 
ness, enough to melt the heart of any mother 
whom he v/as desirous to seduce, and then, with 
a half murmured sigh, he regretted, in broken 
accents, that he too was not a father. 

In due time, he proceeded even farther. 
Dark hints of domestic infelicity broke uninten- 
tionally from his ungoverned lips. INIay Dacre 
stared. He quelled the tumult of his thoughts, 
struggled with his outbreaking feelings, and 
triumphed ; yet not without a tear, which 
forced its way down a face not formed for 
grief, and quivered upon his fair and downy 
cheek. Sir Lucius Grafton was well aware of 
the magic of his beauty, and used his charms to 
betray, as if he were a woman. 

May Dacre, whose soul was sympathy, felt 
in silence for this excellent, this injured, this 
unhappy, this agreeable man. Ill could even 



134 THE YOUNG UUKE. 

her practised manner check the current of her 
mind, or conceal from Lady Aphrodite, that 
she possessed her dislike. As for the young 
Duke, he fell into the lowest abyss of her opi- 
nions, and was looked upon as alike frivolous, 
heartless, and irreclaimable. 

But how are the friends with whom we dined 
yesterday ? Frequent were the meetings, deep 
the consultations, infinite the suggestions, innu- 
merable the expedients. In the morning, they 
met and breakfasted with Annesley ; in the 
afternoon they met, and lunched with Lord 
Squib; in the evening, they met and dined with 
Lord Darrell, and at night they met and supped 
at the Alhambra. Each council only the more 
convinced them, that the scheme was feasible, 
and must be glorious. At last their ideas were 
matured, and Annesley took steps to break the 
great event to the world, who were on the eve 
of being astonished. 

He repaired to Lady Bloomerly. The world 
sometimes talked of her Ladyship and Mr. An- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 135 

nesley, — the world were quite wrong, as they 
often are on this subject. ^Ir. Annesley knew the 
value of a female friend. By Lady Bloomerly's 
advice, the plan was entrusted in confidence to 
about a dozen dames equally influential. Then 
a few of the most considered male friends heard 
a strange report. Lord Darrell dropped a ru- 
mour at the Treasury, but with his finger on 
the mouth, and leaving himself out of the list, 
proceeded to give his favourable opinion of the 
project, merely as a disinterested and expected 
guest. Then the Duke promised Peacock Pig- 
gott one night at the Alhambra, but swore him 
to solemn secrecy over a vase of sherbet. Then 
Squib told his tailor, in consideration that his 
bill should not be sent in ; and finally, the Bird 
of Paradise betrayed the whole affair to the 
musical world, who were, of course, all agog. 
Then, when rumour began to wag its hundred 
tongues, the twelve peeresses found themselves 
bound in honour to step into the breach, yield- 
ed the plan their decided approbation, and 



136 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

their avowed patronage, puzzled the grum- 
blers, silenced the weak, and sneered down 
tlic obstinate. 

The invitations began to issue, and the out- 
cry against them burst forth. A fro fide was 
formed, but they wanted De Retz ; and many 
kept back, with the hope of being bribed from 
joining it. The four cavaliers soon found them- 
selves at the head of a strong party, and then, 
like a faction who have successfully struggled 
for toleration, they now openly maintained their 
supremacy- It was too late to cabal. The 
uninvited could only console themselves by a 
passive sulk, or an active sneer ; but this would 
not do, and their bilious countenances betrayed 
their chagrin. 

The difficulty now was, not to keep the bores 
away, but to obtain a few of the beauties, 
who hesitated. A chaperon must be found for 
one; another must be added on to a party, like 
a star to the cluster of a constellation. Among 
those whose presence was most ardently desired, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 137 

but seemed most doubtful, was May Dacre. 
An invitation had been sent to her father ; but 
he was out of town, and she did not like to join 
so peculiar a party, without him : but it was 
unanimously agreed, that, without her, the 
affair would be a failure ; and Charles Annesley 
was sent, envoy extraordinary, to arrange. 
With the good aid of his friend Mrs. Dalling- 
ton, all was at length settled ; and fervid pray- 
ers that the important day might be ushered in 
by a smiling sun, were offered up during the 
next fortnight, at half-past six every morning. 
by all civilized society, who then hurried to 
their night's rest. 



138 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER XL 

The fete at " the Pavilion" — such was the 
title of the Twickenham Villa — though the 
subject of universal interest, was anticipated by 
no one with more eager anxiety than by Sir 
Lucius Grafton, for that day, he determined, 
should decide the fate of the Duke of St. James. 
He was sanguine as to the result — nor without 
reason. For the last month, he had, by his 
dark machinery, played desperately upon the 
feelings of Lady Aphrodite ; and more than 
once had she despatched rapid notes to her 
admirer, for counsel and for consolation. The 
Duke was more skilful in soothing her griefs 
than in devising expedients for their removal. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 139 

He treated the threatened as a distant evil ! 
and wiped away her tears in a manner which is 
almost an encouragement to weep. 

At last, the eventful morn arrived, and a 
scorching sun made those exult, to whom the 
barge and the awning promised a progress 
equally calm and cool. Woe to the dusty 
britscha ! — woe to the molten furnace of the 
crimson cabriolet ! 

They came, as the stars come out from the 
Heavens, what time the sun is in his first re- 
pose — now a single hero, brilliant as a planet — 
now a splendid party, clustering like a constel- 
lation. Music is on the waters, and perfume 
on the land : each moment, a barque glides up 
with its cymbals — each moment, a cavalcade 
bright with bouquets ! 

Ah ! gathering of brightness ! — ah ! meeting 
of lustre ! — why, why are you to be celebrated 
by one so obscure and dull as I am ! Ye Lady 
Carolines, and ye Lady Franceses — ye Lady 
Barbaras and ye Lady Blanches, is it my fault ? 



140 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Oh ! graceful Lord Francis, why, why have 
you left us — why, why have you exchanged 
your Ionian lyre for an Irish harp ! You were 
not made for politics — leave them to clerks. 
Fly — fly back to pleasure, to frolic and fun ! 
Confess, now, that you sometimes do feel a little 
queer. I say nothing of the difference between 
May Fair and Donny brook. 

And thou, too, Luttrell — gayest bard that 
ever threw off a triplet amid the clattering of 
cabs and the chattering of clubs, — art thou, too, 
mute ? Where — where dost thou linger ? Is 
our Druid among the oaks of Ampthill — or, 
like a truant Etonian, is he lurking among the 
beeches of Burnham ? What ! has the immor- 
tal letter, unlike all other good advice, abso- 
lutely not been thrown away ? — or is the jade 
incorrigible ? Whichever be the case, you 
need not be silent. There is yet enough to do, 
and yet enough to instruct. Teach us, that 
wealth is not elegance; that profusion is not 
magnificence; and that splendour is not beauty. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 141 

Teach us, that taste is a talisman, which can do 
greater wonders than the milHons of the loan- 
monger. Teach us, that to vie is not to rival ; 
and to imitate, not to invent. Teach us, that 
pretension is a bore. Teach us, that wit is ex- 
cessively good-natured, and, like champagne, 
not only sparkles, but is sweet. Teach us the 
vulgarity of malignity. Teach us, that envy 
spoils our complexions, and that anxiety de- 
stroys our figure. Catch the fleeting colours 
of that sly chameleon. Cant, and show v^^hat 
excessive trouble we are ever taking to make 
ourselves miserable and silly. Teach us all 
this, and Aglaia shall stop a crow in its course, 
and present you with a pen — Thalia hold the 
golden fluid in a Sevre vase — and Euphrosyne 
support the violet-coloured scroll. 

The four hosts greeted the arrivals, and 
assisted the disembarkations, like the famous 
four sons of Aymon. They were all dressed 
alike, and their costume excited great attention. 
At first, it was to have been very plain — black 



142 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

and white, and a single rose ; but it was settled, 
that simplicity had been overdone, and, like a 
country-girl after her first season, had turned 
into a most affected baggage, — so they agreed to 
be regal; and fancy uniforms, worthy of the 
Court of Oberon, were the order of the day. I 
shall not describe them, for the description of 
costume is the most inventive province of our 
historical novelists, and I never like to be un- 
fair, or trench upon my neighbour's lands or 
rights : but the Alhambra button indicated a 
mystical confederacy, and made the women 
quite frantic with curiosity. 

The guests wandered through the gardens, 
always various, and now a Paradise of novelty. 
There were four brothers, fresh from the wild- 
est recesses of the Carpathian Mount, who 
threw out such woodnotes wild, that all the 
artists stared ; and it was universally agreed, 
that had they not been French chorus-singers, 
they would have been quite a miracle. But 
the Lapland sisters were tlie true prodigy, who 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 143 

danced the Mazurka in the national style. 
There was also a fire-eater; but some said he 
would never set the river in flames, though he 
had an antidote against all poisons ! But then, 
our Mithridates always tried its virtues on a 
stuffed poodle, whose bark evinced its vitality. 
There also was a giant in the wildest parts of 
the shrubbery, and a dwarf, on whom the ladies 
showered their sugar-plums, and who, in re- 
turn, offered them tobacco. But it was not 
true, that the giant sported stilts, or that the 
dwarf was a sucking-babe. Some people are 
so suspicious. Then a bell rang, and assem- 
bled them in the concert-room; and the Bird of 
Paradise, who, to-day, was consigned to the 
cavaliership of Peacock Piggott, condescended 
to favour them -with a new song, which no one 
had ever heard, and which, consequently, made 
them feel more intensely all the sublimity of 
exclusiveness. Shall I forget the panniers of 
shoes which ^lelnotte had placed in every quar- 
ter of the gardens ? I will say notliing of ^ia- 



144 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

radan's cases of caps, because, for this incident, 
Lord Bagshot is my authority. 

On a sudden, it seemed that a thousand 
bugles broke the blue air, and they were sum- 
moned to a dejeuner in four crimson tents, 
worthy of Sardanapalus. Over each waved the 
scutcheon of the president. Glittering were 
the glories of the hundred quarterings of the 
house of Darrell. " Si non t vero e ben tro- 
vato^'' was the motto. — Lord DarrelPs grand- 
father had been a successful lawyer. — Lord 
SquiVs emblazonry was a satire on its owner. 
'' Holdfast'' was the motto of a man who had 
let loose. Annesley's simple shield spoke of 
the Conquest ; but all paled before the banner 
of the house of Hauteville, for it indicated an 
alliance with royalty. The attendants of each 
pavilion wore the livery of its Lord. 

Shall I attempt to describe the delicacy of 
this banquet, where imagination had been rack- 
ed for novel luxury .^ Through the centre of 
each table ran a rivulet of rose-water, and gold 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 145 

and silver fish glanced in its unrivalled course. 
The bouquets were exchanged every half hour, 
and music soft and subdued, but constant and 
thrilling, wound them up by exquisite grada- 
tions to that pitch of refined excitement, which 
is so strange an union of delicacy and voluptu- 
ousness, when the soul, as it were, becomes sen- 
sual, and the body, as it were, dissolves into 
spirit. And in this choice assembly, where all 
was youth, and elegance, and beauty, was it 
not right, that every sound should be melody, 
every sight a sight of loveliness, and every 
thought a thought of pleasure ? 

They arose, and assembled on the lawn, where 
they found to their surprise had arisen in their 
absence a Dutch Fair. Numerous were the 
booths, — innumerable were the contents. The 
first artists had arranged the picture and the 
costumes : the first artists had made the trinkets 
and the toys. And what a very agreeable fair, 
where all might suit their fancy without the 
permission of that sulky tyrant, — a purse I All 

VOL. II. H 



146 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

were in excellent humour, and no maiivaise 
houte prevented them from plundering the 
boutiques. The noble proprietors set the ex- 
ample. Annesley offered a bouquet of precious 
stones to Charlotte Bloomerly, and it was ac- 
cepted, and the Duke of St. James showered a 
sack of whimsical breloques among a scrambling 
crowd of laughing beauties. Among them was 
May Dacre. He had not observed her. Their 
eyes met, and she laughed. It seemed that he 
had never felt happiness before. 

Ere the humours of the fair could be ex- 
hausted, they were summoned to the margin of 
the river, where four painted and gilded galleys, 
which might have sailed down the Cydnus, 
and each owning its peculiar chief, prepared to 
struggle for preeminence in speed. All betted ; 
and the Duke, encouraged by the smile, hasten- 
ed to Miss Dacre to try to win back some of 
his Doncaster losses, but Arundel Dacre had 
her arm in his, and she was evidently delighted 
with his discourse. His Grace's blood turned, 
and he walked away. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 147 

It was sunset, when they returned to the 
lawn ; and then the ball-room presented itself ; 
but the twihght was long, and the night was 
warm ; there were no hateful dews, no odious 
mists, and therefore a great number danced on 
the lawn. The fair was illuminated, and all 
the little marchandes and their lusty porters 
walked about in their costume. 

The Duke again rallied hi;^ courage, and see- 
ing Arundel Dacre with Mrs. Dallington Vere,* 
he absolutely asked May Dacre to dance. She 
was engao-ed. He doubted, and walked into 
the house disconsolate; yet if he had waited 
one moment, he would have seen Sir Lucius 
Grafton rejoin her, and lead her to the cotillofi 
that was forming on the turf. The Duke saun- 
tered to Lady Aphrodite, but she would not 
dance, — yet she did not yield his arm, and pro- 
posed a stroll. They wandered away to the 
extremity of the grounds. Fainter and fainter 
grew the bursts of the revellers, yet neither of 
them spoke much, for both were dull. 
H 2 



148 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Yet at length her Ladyship did speak, and 
amply made up for her previous silence. All 
former scenes, to this, were but as the preface to 
the book. All she knew and all she dreaded, 
all her suspicions, all her certainties, all her 
fears, were poured forth in painful profusion. 
This night was to decide her fate. She threw 
herself on his mercy, if he had forgotten his 
love. Out dashed all those arguments, all those 
appeals, all those assertions, which they say are 
usual under these circumstances. She was a 
woman; he was a man. She had staked her 
happiness on this venture ; he had a thousand 
cards to play. Love, and first love with her, 
as with all women, was every thing ; he and all 
men, at the worst, had a thousand resources. 
He might plunge into politics, — he might game, 
— he might fight, — he might ruin himself in in- 
numerable ways, but she could only ruin herself 
in one. — Miserable woman ! Miserable sex ! 
She had given him her all. She knew it was lit- 
tle : would she had more ! She knew she was un- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 149 

worthy of him : ^yould she were not ! She did 
not ask him to sacrifice himself to her : she 
could not expect it ; she did not even desire it. 
Only, she thought he ought to know exactly 
the state of affairs and of consequences, and 
that certainly if they were parted, which assur- 
edly they would be, most decidedly she would 
droop, and fade, and die. She wept, she sob- 
bed ; his entreaties alone seemed to prevent 
hysterics. 

These scenes are painful at all times, — and 
even the callous, they say, have a twinge ; but 
when the actress is really beautiful and pure, 
as this lady was, and the actor young, and in- 
experienced, and amiable, as this actor was, the 
consequences are more serious than is usual. 
The Duke of St. James was unhappy — he was 
discontented — he was dissatisfied with himself. 
He did not love this lady, if love were the pas- 
sion which he entertained for May Dacre, — but 
she loved him. He knew that she was beauti- 
ful, and he was convinced that she was excel- 



150 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

lent. The world is malicious, — but the world 
had agreed that Lady Aphrodite was an unble- 
mished pearl : yet this jewel was reserved for 
him ! Intense gratitude almost amounted to 
love. In short, he had no idea, at this moment, 
that feelings are not in our power. His were 
captive, even if entrapped. It was a great 
responsibility to desert this creature, the only 
one from whom he had experienced devotion. 
To conclude : a season of extraordinary dissipa- 
tion, to use no harsher phrase, had somewhat 
exhausted the nervous powers of our hero : his 
energies were deserting him ; he had not heart, 
or heartle-ssness enough to extricate himself 
from this dilemma. It seemed that, if this being 
to whom he was indebted for so much joy, 
w^ere miserable, he must be unhappy ; that if 
she died, life ought to have — could have no 
charms for him. He kissed away her tears — he 
pledged his faith — and Lady Aphrodite Graf- 
ton was his betrothed ! 

She wonderfully recovered. Her deep but 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 151 

silent joy seemed to repay him even for this 
bitter sacrifice. Compared with the late rack- 
ing of his feelings, the present calm, which was 
merely the result of suspense being destroyed, 
seemed happiness. His conscience whispered 
approbation, and he felt that, for once, he had 
sacrificed himself to another. 

They re-entered the Villa, and he took the 
first opportunity of wandering alone to the 
least frequented parts of the grounds : — his 
mind demanded solitude, and his soul required 
soliloquy. 

" So the game is up ! Truly, a most lame 
and impotent conclusion ! And this, then, is 
the result of all my high fancies and indefinite 
aspirations ! Verily, I am a very distinguished 
hero, and have not abused my unrivalled advan- 
tages in the least ! What ! am I bitter on my- 
self f There will be enough to sing my praises, 
without myself joining in this chorus of congra- 
tulation. Oh ! fool, fool ! Now I know what 
folly is. But barely fifteen months since, I 



152 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

stepped upon these shores, full of hope and 
full of pride ; and now I leave them — how ? 
Oh ! my dishonoured fathers 1 Even my pos- 
terity, which God grant I may not have, will 
look on my memory with hatred, and on hcr's 
with scorn ! 

*"'■ Well, I suppose we must live for ourselves. 
We both of us know the world ; and Heaven 
can bear witness that we should not be haunted 
by any uneasy hankering after what has brought 
us such a heartache. If it were for love — if it 
Avere for — but away! — I will not profane her 
name — If it were for her that I was thus sacri- 
ficing myself, I could bear it — I could welcome 
it. I can imagine perfect and everlasting bliss 
in the sole society of one single being — but she 
is not that being. Let me not conceal it ; let me 
wrestle with this bitter conviction ! 

" And am I, indeed, bound to close my 
career thus — to throw away all hope, all chance 
of felicity, at my age, for a point of honour ? 
No, no, — it is not that. After all, I have 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 153 

experienced that with her, and from her, which 
I have with no other woman; and she is so 
good, so gentle, and all agree, so lovely ! How 
infinitely worse would her situation be, if de- 
serted, than mine is, as her perpetual compa- 
nion ! The very thought makes my heart 
bleed. Yes ! amiable, devoted, dearest Afy, 1 
throw aside these morbid feelings — you shall 
never repent having placed your trust in me. I 
will be proud and happy of such a friend, and 
you shall be mine for ever !" 

A shriek broke on the air : he started. It 
was near : he hastened after the sound. He 
entered into a small green glade surrounded by 
shrubs, where had been erected a fanciful her- 
mitage. There he found Sir Lucius Grafton 
on his knees, grasping the hand of the indignant 
but terrified May Dacre. The Duke rushed 
forward ; Miss Dacre ran to meet him ; the 
Baronet rose. 

'' This lady, Sir Lucius Grafton, is under 
my protection,"' said the young Duke, with a 
H 5 



154 THE YOUNG UUKE. 

flashing eye but a calm voice. She clung to 
his arm ; he bore her away. The whole was 
the affair of an instant. 

The Duke and his companion proceeded in 
silence. She tried to hasten, but he felt her 
limbs shake upon his arm. He stopped : — no 
one, not even a servant, was near. He could 
not leave her for an instant. There she stood 
trembling, her head bent down, and one hand 
clasping the other which rested on his arm. 
Terrible was her struggle, but she would not 
faint, and at length succeeded in repressing her 
emotions. They were yet a considerable way 
from the house. She motioned with her left 
hand to advance ; but still she did not speak. 
On they walked, though more slowly, for she 
was exhausted, and occasionally stopped for 
breath, or strength. 

At length she said, in a faint voice, — ''I 
cannot join the party. I must go home directly. 
How can it be done ?"*^ 

'• Your companions,'"* said the Duke — 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 155 

" Are of course engaged, or not to be found ; 
but surely, somebody, I know, is departing. 
Manage it — manage it : say I am ill." 

" Oh ! Miss Dacre, if you knew the agony 
of my mind !" 

" Do not speak — for Heaven's sake, do not 
speak !" 

He turned off from the lawn, and approach- 
ed by a small circuit the gate of the ground. 
Suddenly, he perceived a carriage on the point 
of going off. It was the Duchess of Shrop- 
shire's. 

" There is the Duchess of Shropshire ! You 
know her — but not a minute is to be lost. 
There is such a noise, they will not hear. Are 
you afraid to stop here one instant by yourself? 
I shall not be out of sight, and not away a 
second. I run very quick." 

" No — no, I am not afraid. Go — go !" 

Away rushed the Duke of St. James, as if 
his life were on his speed. He stopped the 
carriage, spoke, and was back in an instant. 



156 THE YOUNG DUKK. 

" Lean — lean on me with all your strength. 
I have told every thing necessary to Lady 
Shropshire. Nobody will speak a word, be- 
cause they believe you have a terrible head- 
ache. I will say every thing necessary to Mrs. 
Dallington and your cousin. Do not give your- 
self a moment''s uneasiness. And, oh ! Miss 
Dacre, if I might say one word !" 

She did not stop him. 

" If,"" continued he, " it be your wish, that 
the outrage of to-night should be known only 
to myself and him, I pledge my word it shall 
be so ; though willingly, if I were authorized, 
I would act a different part in this affair.'*' 

" It is my wish." She spoke in a low voice, 
with her eyes still upon the ground — " And I 
thank you for this, and for all.'" 

They had now joined the Shropshires ; but 
it was now discovered^Iiss Dacre had no shawl ; 
and sundry other articles were wanting, to the 
evident dismay of the Ladies Wrckin. They 
offered theirs, but their visitor refused, and 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 157 

would not allow the Duke to fetch her own. 
Off they drove ; but when they liad proceeded 
above half a mile, a continued shout on the 
road, which the fat coachman, for a long time, 
would not hear, stopped them, and up came 
the Duke of St. James, covered with dust, and 
panting like a racer, with Miss Dacre's shawl. 



158 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER XII. 

So much time was occupied by this adven- 
ture of the shawl, and by making requisite 
explanations to Mrs. Dallington Vere, that al- 
most the whole of the guests had retired, when 
the Duke found himself again in the saloon. 
His brother-hosts, too, were off with various 
parties, to which they had attached themselves. 
'He found the Fitz-pompeys, and a few still 
lingering for their carriages ; and Arundel 
Dacre and his fair admirer. His Grace had 
promised to return with Lady Afy, and was 
devising some scheme by which he might free 
himself from this, now not very suitable, en- 
gagement, when she claimed his arm. She was 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 159 

leaning on it, and talking to Lady Fitz-pompey, 
when Sir Lucius approached, and, with his usual 
tone, put a note into the Duke's hand, saying 
at the same time, — " This appears to belong to 
you. I shall go to town with Piggott ;" — and 
then he walked away. 

With the wife leaning on his arm, the young 
Duke had the pleasure of reading the following 
lines, written with the pencil of the husband. 

" After what has just occurred, only one 
more meeting can take place between us, and 
the sooner that takes place, the better for all 
parties. This is no time for etiquette. I shall 
be in Kensington Gardens, in the grove on the 
right side of the summer-house, at half-past 
six to-morrow morning, and shall doubtless find 
you there.'' 

Sir Lucius was not out of sight when the 
Duke had finished reading his cartel. Making 
some confused excuse to Lady Afv, which was 



160 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

not expected, he ran after the Baronet, and 
soon reached him. 

" Sir Lucius Grafton, I shall be punctual : 
but there is one point on which I wish to speak 
to you at once. The cause of this meeting may 
be kept, I hope, a secret !'* 

" iVs far as I am concerned, an inviolable 
one,'' bowed the Baronet very stiffly ; and they 
parted. 

The Duke returned satisfied, for Sir Lucius 
Grafton ever observed his word — to say nothing 
of the great interest which he surely had this 
time in maintaining his pledge. 

Our hero thought that he never should reach 
London. The journey seemed a day ; and the 
effort to amuse Lady Afy, and to prevent her 
from suspecting, by his conduct, that anything 
had occurred, was most painful. Silent, how- 
ever, he at last became ; but her mind, too, was 
engaged ; and she supposed that her admirer 
was c^uiet only because, like herself, he was 
ha})])y. At length they reached her house, but 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 161 

he excused himself from entering, and drove on 
immediately to Annesley. He was at Lady 
Bloomerly's. Lord Darrell had not returned, 
and his servant did not expect him. Lord 
Squib was never to be found. The Duke put 
on a great coat over his uniform, and drove to 
White's : — it was really a wilderness. Never 
had he seen fewer men there in his life, and 
there were none of his set. The only young- 
looking man was old Colonel Carlisle, who, with 
his skilfully enamelled cheek, flowing auburn 
locks, shining teeth, and tinted whiskers, might 
have been mistaken for gay twenty-seven, in- 
stead of gray seventy-two ; but the Colonel had 
the gout, to say nothing of any other objections. 
The Duke took up the Courier, and read 
three or four advertisements of quack medi- 
cines — but nobody entered. It was nearly mid- 
night : he got nervous. Somebody came in — 
Lord Hounslow for his rubber. Even his fa- 
voured child, Bagshot, would be better than 
nobody. The Duke protested that the next 



162 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

acquaintance who entered should be his second, 
old or young. His vow had scarcely been 
registered, when Arundel Dacre came in alone. 
He was the last man to whom the Duke wished 
to address himself, but Fate seemed to have 
decided it, and the Duke walked up to him. 

" Mr. Dacre, I am about to ask of you a 
favour to which I have no claim." 

Mr. Dacre looked a little confused, and mur- 
mured his willingness to do any thing. 

" To be explicit, I am engaged in an affair 
of honour of a very urgent nature. Will you 
be my friend .^" 

" With the greatest willingness." He spoke 
with more ease. " May I ask the name of the 

other party, the the cause of the 

meeting ?*" 

" The other party is Sir Lucius Grafton." 
" Hum !" said Arundel Dacre, as if he were 
no longer curious about the cause. " When do 
you meet ?" 

" At half-past six, in Kensington Gardens, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 163 

to-morrow, — I believe, I should say this 
morning." 

- " YoLir Grace must be wearied," said Arun- 
del, with unusual ease and animation. " Now, 
follow my advice. Go home at once and get 
some rest. Give yourself no trouble about 
preparations : leave every thing to me. I will 
call upon you at half-past five precisely, with a 
chaise and post-horses, which will divert suspi- 
cion. Now, good night !" 

'• But really, your rest must be considered — 
and then all this trouble !" 

" Oh ! I have been in the habit of sitting up 
all night. Do not think of me, — nor am I quite 
inexperienced in these matters, in too many of 
which I have unfortunately been engaged in 
Germany." 

The young men shook hands with great cor- 
diality, and the Duke hastened home. Fortu- 
nately, the Bird of Paradise was at her own 
establishment in Baker Street, a bureau where 
her secretary, in her behalf, transacted business 



16*4 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

with the various courts of Europe, and the 
numerous cities of Great Britain. Here many 
a negotiation was carried on for Opera engage- 
ments at Vienna, or Paris, or Berlin, or St. Pe- 
tersburg. Here many a diplomatic correspon- 
dence conducted the fate of the musical festivals 
of York, or Norwich, or Exeter. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 165 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Let us return to Sir Lucius Grafton. He is 
as mad as any man must be, who feels that the 
imprudence of a moment has dashed to the 
ground all the plans, and all the hopes, and all 
the great results, over which he had so often 
pondered. The great day from which he had 
expected so much had passed, nor was it possi- 
ble for four-and-twenty hours more completely 
to have reversed all his feelings and all his 
prospects. May Dacre had shared the inno- 
cent but unusual and excessive gaiety, which 
had properly become a scene of festivity at once 
so agreeable, so various, and so novel. Sir Lu- 
cius » Grafton had not been insensible to the 



166 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

excitement. On the contrary, his impetuous 
passions seemed to recall the former, and more 
fervent, days of his career, and his voluptuous 
mind dangerously sympathised with the beau- 
tiful and luxurious scene. He was elated too 
with the thought, that his freedom would per- 
haps be sealed this evening, and still more by 
his almost constant attendance on his fascinat- 
ing companion. As the particular friend of 
the Dacre family, and as the secret ally of Mrs. 
Dallington "\"ere, he in some manner contrived 
always to be at jNIay Dacre's side. With the 
laughing but insidious pretence, that he was 
now almost too grave and staid a personage for 
such scenes, he conversed with few others, and 
humorously maintaining, that his " dancing 
days were over," danced with none but her. 
Even when her attention was engaged by a 
third person, he lingered about, and with his 
consummate knowledge of the world, easy wit, 
and constant resources, generally succeeded in 
not only sliding into the conversation, but 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 167 

engrossing it. Arundel Dacre too, although 
that young gentleman had not departed from his 
usual coldness in favour of Sir Lucius Grafton, 
the Baronet would most provokingly consider as 
his particular friend : never seemed to be con- 
scious that his reserved companion was most 
punctilious in his address to him, but on the 
contrary called him in return '' Dacre," and 
sometimes " Arundel.'' In vain young Dacre 
struggled to maintain his position. His manner 
was no match for that of Sir Lucius Grafton. 
Annoyed with himself, he felt confused, and 
often quitted his cousin, that he might be free of 
his friend. Thus, Sir Lucius Grafton contrived 
never to permit Miss Dacre to be alone with 
Arundel, and to her he was so courteous, so 
agreeable, and so useful, that his absence seem- 
ed always a blank, or a period in which some- 
thing ever went wrong. 

The triumphant day rolled 6n, and each mo- 
ment Sir Lucius felt more sanguine and more 
excited. We will not dwell upon the advanc- 



168 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

ing confidence of his desperate mind. Hope 
expanded into certainty, — certainty burst into 
impatience. In a desperate moment, he breath- 
ed his passion. 

May Dacre was the last girl to feel at a loss 
in such a situation. No one would have rung 
him out of a saloon with an air of more con- 
temptuous majesty. But the shock, — the soli- 
tary strangeness of the scene, — the fear, for the 
first time, that none were near, and perhaps, also, 
her exhausted energy, frightened her, and she 
shrieked. One only had heard that shriek, yet 
that one was Legion. Sooner might the whole 
world know the worst, than this person suspect 
the least. Sir Lucius was left silent with rage, 
mad with passion, desperate with hate. 

He gasped for breath. Now his brow burnt, 
— now the cold dew ran off his countenance in 
streams. He clenched his fist, — he stamped with 
agony, — he found at length his voice, and he 
blasphemed to the unconscious woods. 

His quick brain flew to the results like light- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 169 

ning. The Duke had escaped from his mesh ; 
his madness had done more to win this boy 
May Dacre's heart, than an age of courtship. 
He had lost the idol of his passion, he was 
fixed for ever with the creature of his hate. 
He loathed the idea. He tottered into the 
hermitage, and buried his face in his hands. 

Something must be done. Some monstrous 
act of energy must repair this fatal blunder. 
He appealed to the mind which had never 
deserted him. The oracle was mute. Yet 
vengeance might even slightly redeem the bit- 
terness of despair. This fellow should die ; 
and his girl — for already he hated May Dacre 
— should not triumph in her minion. He tore a 
leaf from his tablets, and wrote the lines we 
have already read. 

The young Duke reached home. You ex 
pect, of course, that he sat up all night making 
his will, and answering letters. By no means. 
The first object that caught his eye was an 
enormous Ottoman. He threw himself upon it 

VOL. II. 1 



170 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

without undressing, and without speaking a 
word to Luigi, and in a moment was fast 
asleep. He was fairly exhausted. Luigi 
.stared, and called Spiridion to consult. They 
agreed that they dare not go to bed, and must 
not leave their lord ; so they played Ecarte, till 
at last they quarrelled and fought with the can- 
dles over the table. But even this did not 
wake their unreasonable master; so Spiridion 
threw down a few chairs by accident ; but all 
in vain. At half-past five, there w^as a knock- 
ing at the gate, and they hurried away. 

Arundel Dacre entered with them, woke the 
Duke, and praised him for his punctuality. 
His Grace thought that he had only dozed a 
few minutes ; but time pressed ; five minutes 
arranged his toilette, and they were first on the 
field. 

In a moment. Sir Lucius and Mr. Piggott 
appeared. Arundel Dacre, on the way, had 
anxiously enquired as to the probability of 
reconciliation, but was told at once it was im- 



THE YOUNG DURE. 171 

possible, so now he measured the ground and 
locided the pistols with a calmness which was 
admirable. They fired at once ; the Duke in 
the air, and the Baronet in his friend's side. 
When Sir Lucius saw his Orace fall, his hate 
vanished. He ran up with real anxiety and 
unfeigned anguish. 

" Have I hit you, by H— 11 !" 

His Grace was of course magnanimous, but 
the case was urgent. A surgeon gave a favour- 
able report, and extracted the bail on the spot. 
The Duke was carried back to his chaise, and 
in an hour was in the state bed, not of the Al- 
hambra — but of his neglected mansion. 

Arundel Dacre retired when he had seen his 
friend home, but gave urgent commands that 
he should be kept quiet. No sooner was the 
second out of sight, than the principal ordered 
the room to be cleared with the exception of 
Spiridion, and then, rising in his bed, wrote 
this note, which the page was secretly to 
deliver. 

I 2 



172 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

" House, , 182-. 

" DEAR MISS DACRE, 
" A VERY unimportant but somewhat dis- 
agreeable incident has occurred. I have been 
obhged to meet Sir Lucius Grafton, and our 
meeting has fortunately terminated without 
any serious consequences. Yet I wish that 
you should hear of this first from me, lest you 
might imagine that I had not redeemed my 
pledge of last night, and that I had placed for 
a moment my own feelings in competition with 
yours. This is not the case, and never shall 
be, dear Miss Dacre, with one whose greatest 
pride is to subscribe himself 

" Your most obedient and faithful servant, 

" St. James." 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 173 



CHAPTER XIV. 

The world talked of nothing but the duel 
between the Duke of St. James and Sir Lucius 
Grafton. It was a thunderbolt; and the pheno- 
menon was accounted for by every cause but 
the right one. Yet even those who most confi- 
dently solved the riddle were the most eagerly 
employed in investigating its true meaning. 
The seconds were of course applied to. Arun- 
del Dacre was proverbially unpumpable; but 
Peacock Piggott, whose communicative temper 
was an adage, how came he on a sudden so di- 
plomatic ? Not a syllable oozed from a mouth 
which was ever open ; not a hint from a coun- 
tenance which never could conceal its mind. 



174 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

He was not even mysterious, but really looked 
just as astonished, and was just as curious as 
themselves. Fine times these for " The Uni- 
verse," and " The New World !" All came out 
about Lady Afy ; and they made up for their 
long and previous ignorance, or, as they now 
boldly blustered, their long and considerate 
forbearance. Sheets given away gratis, — edition 
on Saturday night for the country, and wood- 
cuts of the Pavilion F^te : — the when, the how, 
and the wherefore. A. The summer house, and 
Lady Aphrodite meeting the young Duke. B. 
The hedg« behind which Sir Lucius Grafton 
was concealed. C. Kensington Gardens, and a 
cloudy morning ; and so on. Cruikshank did 
wonders. 

But let us endeavour to ascertain the feel- 
ings of the principal agents in this odd affair. 
Sir Lucius now was cool, and the mischief be- 
ing done, took a calm review of the late mad 
hours. As was his custom, he began to enquire 
whether any good could be elicited from all 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 175 

evil. He owed his late adversary sundry mo- 
nies, which he had never contemplated the pos- 
sibility of repaying to the person who had 
eloped with his wife. Had he shot his credi- 
tor, the account would equally have been clear- 
ed ; and this consideration, although it did not 
prompt, had not dissuaded, the late desperate 
deed. As it was, he now appeared still to 
enjoy the possession both of his wife and his 
debts, and had lost his friend. Bad gene- 
ralship, Sir Lucy ! Reconciliation was out of 
the question. The Duke's position was a gpod 
one. Strongly entrenched with a flesh wound, 
he had all the sympathy of society on his side ; 
and after having been confined for a few weeks, 
he could go to Paris for a few months, and then 
return, as if the Graftons had never crossed his 
eye, rid of a troublesome mistress and a trou- 
blesome friend. His position was certainly a 
good one, but Sir Lucius was astute, and he 
determined to turn this Shumla of his Grace. 
The quarrel must have been about her Ladyship. 



176 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Who could assign any other cause for it ? And 
the Duke must now be weak with loss of blood 
and anxiety, and totally unable to resist any 
appeal, particularly a personal one, to his feel- 
ings. He determined therefore to drive Lady 
Afy into his Grace''s arms. If he could only 
get her into the house for an hour, the business 
would be settled. 

These cunning plans were, however, nearly 
being crossed by a very simple incident. An- 
noyed at finding that her feelings could be con- 
sulted only by sacrificing those of another wo- 
man, May Dacre, quite confident that as Lady 
Aphrodite was innocent in the present instance, 
she must be immaculate, told every thing to 
her father, and stifling her tears, begged him 
to make all public ; but Mr. Dacre, after due 
consideration, enjoined silence. 

In the mean time, the young Duke was not 
in so calm a mood as the Baronet. Rapidly 
the late extraordinary events dashed through 
his mind, and already those feelings which had 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 177 

prompted his soliloquy in the garden, were no 
longer his. All forms, all imagec, all ideas, all 
memory, melted into May Pacre. He felt that 
he loved her with a perfect love ; that she was 
to him what no other woman had been, even 
in the factitious delirium of early passion. A 
thought of her seemed to bring an entirely 
novel train of feelings, impressions, wishes, 
hopes. The world with her must be a totally 
different system, and his existence in her socie- 
ty, a new and another life. Her very purity 
refined the passion which raged even in his 
exhausted mind. Gleams of virtue, morning 
streaks of duty, broke upon the horizon of his 
hitherto clouded soul; an obscure suspicion 
of the utter worthlessness of his life whispered 
in his hollow ear ; he darkly felt that happiness 
was too philosophical a system to be the result, 
or the reward, of impulse, however unbounded, 
and that principle alone could create, and could 
support, that bliss which is our being's end 

and aim. 

I 5 



178 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

But when he turned to himself, he viewed 
his situation with horror, and yielded almost to 
despair. What — what could she think of the 
impure libertine who dared to adore her ? If 
ever time could bleach his own soul, and con- 
ciliate hers, what — what was to become of 
Aphrodite ? Was his new career to commence 
by a new crime ? Was he to desert this crea- 
ture of his affections, and break a heart which 
beat only for him ? It seemed that the only 
compensation he could offer for a life which 
had achieved no good, would be to establish 
the felicity of the only being whose happiness 
seemed in his power. Yet what a prospect ! 
If before he had trembled— -now 

But his harrowed mind and exhausted body 
no longer allowed him even anxiety. Weak, 
yet excited, his senses fled ; and when Arundel 
Dacre returned in the evening, he found his 
fr- nd delirious. He sat by his bed for many 
hours. Suddenly, the Duke speaks. Arundel 
Dacre rises :— he leans over the sufferer's couch. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 179 

Ah ! why turns the face of the listener so 
pale — and why gleam those eyes with terrible 
fire ? The perspiration courses down his clear 
but sallow cheek : he throws his dark and clus- 
tering curls aside, and passes his hand over 
his damp brow, as if to ask whether he, too, 
had lost his senses from this fray. 

The Duke is agitated. He waves his arm 
in the air, and calls out, in a tone of defiance 
and of hate. His voice sinks : it seems that 
he breathes a milder language, and speaks to 
some softer being. There is no sound, save the 
long-drawn breath of one on whose countenance 
is stamped infinite amazement. Arundel Dacre 
walks the room disturbed ; often he pauses, 
plunged in deep thought. 'Tis an hour past 
midnight, and he quits the bedside of the young 
Duke. 

He pauses at the threshold, and seems to .. 
respire even the noisome air of the metropolis, 
as if it were Eden. As he proceeds down Hill 
Street, he stops, and gazes for a moment on 



180 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

the opposite house. What passes in his mind 
we know not. Perhaps he is reminded that in 
that mansion dwell beauty, wealth, and in- 
fluence — and that all might be his. Perhaps 
love prompts that gaze — perhaps ambition. Is 
it passion, or is it power .'* or does one struggle 
with the other ? 

As he gazes, the door opens, but without 
servants ; and a man, deeply shrouded in his 
cloak, comes out. It was night, and the indi- 
vidual was disguised ; but there are eyes which 
can pierce at all seasons, and through all con- 
cealments, — and Arundel Dacre marked with 
astonishment Sir Lucius Grafton. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 181 



CHAPTER XV. 

When it was understood that the Duke of 
St. James had been delirious, public feeling 
reached what is called its height ; that is to 
say, the curiosity and the ignorance of the 
world were about equal. Every body was 
indignant, — not so much because the young 
Duke had been shot, but because they did not 
know why. If the sympathy of the women 
could have consoled him, our hero might have 
been reconciled to his fate. Among these, no 
one appeared more anxious as to the result, 
and more ignorant as to the cause, than Mrs. 
DalHngton Vere. Arundel Dacre called on her 
the morning ensuing his midnight observation, 



182 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

but understood that she had not seen Sir Lucius 
Grafton, who, they said, had quitted London, 
which she thought probable. Nevertheless, 
Arundel thought proper to walk down Hill 
Street at the same hour, and, if not at the 
same minute, yet, in due course of time, he 
discovered the absent Baronet. 

In two or three days, the young Duke was 
declared out of immediate danger, though his 
attendants must say, he remained exceedingly 
restless, and by no means in a satisfactory state ; 
yet, with their aid, they had a right to hope 
the best. At any rate, if he were to go off, his 
friends would have the satisfaction of remem- 
bering, that all had been done that could be : 
so saying. Dr. X. took his fee, and Surgeons 
Y. and Z. prevented his conduct from being 
singular. 

Now began the operations on the Grafton 
side. A letter from Lady Aphrodite full of 
distraction. She was fairly mystified. What 
could have induced Lucy suddenly to act so, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 183 

puzzled her, as well it might. Her despair, 
and yet her confidence in his Grace, seemed 
equally great. Some talk there was of going off 
to Cleve at once. Her husband, on the whole, 
maintained a rigid silence and studied coolness. 
Yet he had talked of Vienna and Florence, and 
even murmured something about public dis- 
grace and public ridicule. In short, the poor 
lady was fairly worn out, and wished to termi- 
nate her harassing career at once, by cutting the 
Gordian knot. In a word, she proposed coming 
on to her admirer, and, as she supposed, her 
victim ; and having the satisfaction of giving 
him his cooling draughts, and arranging his 
bandages. 

If the meeting between the young Duke and 
Sir Lucius Grafton had been occasioned by any 
other cause than the real one, I cannot say 
what might have been the fate of this propo- 
sition. My own opinion is, that this work 
would have been in two volumes ; for the requi- 
site morality would have made out the present 



184 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

one ; but, as it was, the image of May Dacre 
hovered above our hero as his guardian genius. 
He despaired of ever obtaining her ; but yet he 
determined not wilfully to crush all hope. Some 
great effort must be made, to right his position. 
Lady Aphrodite must not be deserted : — the 
very thought increased his fever. He wrote, 
to gain time ; but another billet, in immediate 
answer, only painted increased terrors, and de- 
scribed the growing urgency of her persecuted 
situation. He was driven into a corner — but 
even a stag at bay is awful : — what, then, must 
be a young Duke, the most noble animal in 
existence ? 

Ill as he was, he wrote these Hues, not to 
Lady Aphrodite, but to — her husband : — 

" MY DEAR GRAFTON, 

" You will be surprised at hearing from me. 
I trust you will not be displeased. Is it neces- 
sary for me to assure you, that my interference 
on a late occasion was quite accidental ? And 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 185 

can you, for a moment, maintain that, under 
the circumstances, I could have acted in a 
different manner ? I regret the whole unhappy 
business ; but most I regret that we were 
placed in collision. 

" I am ready to cast all memory of it into 
oblivion ; and as I most unintentionally offend- 
ed, I indulge the sweet hope, that, in this con- 
duct, you will bear me company. 

" Surely, men like us are not to be dissuaded 
from following our inclinations by any fear of 
the opinion of the world. The whole affair is, 
at present, a mystery ; and I think, with our 
united fancies, same explanation may be hit 
upon, which will render the mystery quite im- 
penetrable, while it professes to off*er a satis- 
factory solution. 

" I do not know whether this letter expresses 
my meaning, for my mind is somewhat agitated, 
and my head not very clear ; but if you be in- 
clined to understand it in the right spirit, it is 
sufficiently lucid. At any rate, my dear Graf- 



186 THE YObNG UUKE. 

ton, I have once more the pleasure of subscri- 
bing myself, faithfully yours, 

St. James/' 

This letter was marked " immediate," con- 
signed to the custody of Luigi, with positive 
orders to deliver it personally to Sir Lucius ; 
and if not at home, to follow till he found him. 

He was not at home, and he was found at 

""s Club House. Sullen, dissatisfied with 

himself, doubtful as to the result of his fresh 
manoeuvres, and brooding over his infernal 

debts. Sir Lucius had stepped into , and 

passed the whole morning gaming desperately 
with Lord Hounslow and Baron de Berghen. 
]\ever had he experienced such a smashing 
morning. He had long far exceeded his bank- 
er's account, and was proceeding with a vague 
idea that he should find money somehow or 
other, when this note was put into his hand, 
as it seemed to him by Providence. Tlie sig- 
nature of Semiramis could not have imparted 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 18T 

more exquisite delight to the mysterious Mr. 

Upcott, or lucid Dawson Turner, whose letter 
is not forgotten among the Apennines. (1) 
Were his long views, his complicated objects, 
and doubtful results to be put in competition, 
a moment, with so decided, so simple, and so 
certain a benefit ? — certainly not, by a game- 
ster. He rose from the table, and with strange 
elation wrote these lines : — 

"MY DEAREST FRIEND, 
"You forgive me, — but can I forgive myself ! 
I am plunged in the most overwhelming grief. 
Shall I come on .^ Your mad but devoted 
friend, 

Lucius Grafton.'' 

" The Duke of St. James," 
&CC. &:c. occ. 

They met the same day. After a long con- 
sultation, it was settled that Peacock Piggott 
should be entrusted, in confidence, with the 
secret of the affair — merely a drunken squab- 



188 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

ble, " growing out'' of the Bird of Paradise. 
Wine, jealousy, an artful woman, and head- 
strong youth, will account for any thing — they 
accounted for the present affair. The story 
was believed, because the world were always 
puzzled at Lady Aphrodite being the cause. 
The Baronet proceeded with promptitude to 
make the version pass current : he indicted 
" The Universe,'' and " The New World ;" 
he prosecuted the caricaturists ; and was seen 
everywhere with his wife. " The Universe" 
and " The j\ew World" revenged themselves 
Oil the Signora ; and then she indicted them. 
They could not now even libel an Opera singer 
with impunity: — where was the boasted liberty 
of the Press ? 

In the mean time, the young Duke, once 
more easy in his mind, wonderfully recovered ; 
and on the eighth day after the Ball of Beauty, 
he returned to the Pavilion, which had now 
resumed its usual calm character, for fresh air 
and soothing quiet. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 189 



CHAPTER XVI. 

On the morning of the young Duke's depar- 
ture for Twickenham, as Miss Dacre and Lady 
Caroline St. Maurice were sitting together at 
the house of the former, and moralizing over 
the last night's ball, Mr. Arundel Dacre was 
announced. 

" You have just arrived in time to offer 
your congratulations, Arundel, on an agreeable 
event," said Miss Dacre. '* Lord St. Maurice is 
about to lead to the hymeneal altar " 

" Lady Sophy Wrekin — I know it." 

" How extremely diplomatic ! The attache 
in your very air. I thought of course I was 



190 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

to surprise you, — but future ambassadors have 
such extraordinary sources of information."" 

" Mine is a very simple one. The Duchess 
imagining, I suppose, that my attentions were 
directed to the wrong lady, warned me some 
weeks past. However, my congratulations shall 
be duly paid. Lady Caroline St. Maurice, al- 
low me to express ^" 

" All that you ought to feel," said Miss 
Dacre. " But men at the present day pride 
themselves on insensibility /"' 

" Do you think I am insensible, Lady Caro- 
line ?■" asked Arundel. 

" I must protest against unfair questions," 
said her Ladyship. 

" But it is not unfair. You are a person 
who have now seen me more than once, and 
therefore, according to May, you ought to have 
a perfect knowledge of my character. More- 
over, you do not share the prejudices of my 
family. I ask you, then, do you think I am so 
heartless as May would insinuate ?"" 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 191 

" Does she insinuate so much ?" 
" Does she not call me insensible, because 
I am not in raptures that your brother is about 
to marry a young lady, who, for aught she 
knows, may be the object of my secret ado- 
ration ?'' 

" Arundel, you are perverse," said Miss 
Dacre. 

" No, May, I am logical/' 
" I have always heard that logic is much 
worse than wilfulness," said Lady Caroline. 

" But Arundel always was both," said Miss 
Dacre. " He is not only unreasonable, but he 
will always prove that he is right. Here is 
your purse. Sir !" she added, with a smile, 
presenting him with the result of her week's 
labour. 

" This is the way she always bribes me. 
Lady Caroline. Do you approve of this cor- 
ruption .^" 

" I must confess, I have a slight though 
secret kindness for a little bribery. Mamma 



192 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

is now on her way to Mortimer's, on a very 
corrupt embassy. The nouvelle Mariee, you 
know, must be reconciled to her change of lot 
by quite a new set of playthings. I can give 
you no idea of the necklace that our magnifi- 
cent cousin, in spite of his wound, has sent 
Sophy." 

" But then such a cousin !" said Miss Dacre. 
" A young Duke, like the young lady in the 
Fairy Tale, should scarcely ever speak without 
producing brilliants."" 

" Sophy is highly sensible of the attention. 
As she amusingly observed, except himself 
marrying her, he could scarcely do more. I 
hear the carriage. Adieu, love ! Good morning, 
Mr. Dacre." 

" Allow me to see you to your carriage. 
I am to dine at Fitz-pompey House to-day, 
I believe." 

Arundel Dacre returned to his cousin, and 
seating himself at the table, took up a book, 
and began reading it the wrong side upwards ; 



THE YOUNG DUfCE. 193 

then he threw down a ball of silk, then he 
cracked a netting needle, and then with a husky 
sort of voice, and a half blush, and altogether 
an air of infinite confusion, he said, " This has 
been an odd aiFair, May, of the Duke of St. 
James and Sir Lucius Grafton ?" 

" A very distressing affair, Arundel." 

" How singular that I should have been his 
second. May !" 

" Could he have found any one more fit for 
that office, Arundel P" 

" I think he might. I must say this ; that 
had I known at the time the cause of the fray, 
I should have refused to attend him." 

She was silent, and he resumed. 

" An Opera singer at the best ! Sir Lucius 
Grafton showed more discrimination. Peacock 
Piggott was just the character for his place, 
and I think my principal, too, might have found 
a more congenial sprite. What do you think, 
May .?" 

VOL. ir. K 



K 



194 THE YOUNG DUKE. , 

" Really, Arundel, this is a subject of which 
I know nothing/'' 

" Indeed ! Well, it is very odd, May ; but, 
do you know? I have a queer suspicion that 
you know more about it than any body else/' 

" I ! Arundel ?" she exclaimed, with marked 
confusion. 

" Yes, j/ow, May,*" he repeated with great 
firmness, and looked her in the face with a 
glance which would read her soul. " Ay ! I am 
sure you do." 

" Who says so ?" 

" Oh ! do not fear that you have been be- 
trayed. No one says it ; but I know it. We 
future ambassadors, you know, have such ex- 
traordinary sources of information.*" 

" You jest, Arundel, on a grave subject." 

" Grave ! — ^yes, it is grave. May Dacre. It is 
grave, that there should be secrets between us ; 
it is grave, that our House should have been 
insulted ; it is grave, that you, of all others, 
should have been outraged ; but oh ! it is much 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 195 

more grave, it is bitter, that any other arm, 
than this, should have avenged the wrong." He 
rose from his chair, he paced the room in fear- 
ful agitation, and gnashed his teeth with an ex- 
pression of vindictive hate, that he tried not 
to suppress. 

'* Oh ! my cousin, my dear, dear cousin ! 
spare me, spare me !'"* She hid her face in 
her hands, yet she continued speaking in a 
broken voice, *' I did it for the best. It was 
to suppress strife, to prevent bloodshed. I 
knew your temper, and I feared for your life — 
yet I told my father, I told him all ; and it was 
by his advice that I have maintained through- 
out the silence which I, perhaps too hastily, at 
first adopted." 

" My own dearest May ! spare me, spare me. 
I cannot mark a tear from you without a pang. 
How I came to know this, you wonder. It 
was the delirium of that person who should not 
have played so proud a part in this affair, and 
who is yet our friend; it was his delirium that 
K 2 



196 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

betrayed all. In the madness of his excited 
brain, he re-acted the frightful scene, declared 
the outrage, and again avenged it. Yet, believe 
me, I am not tempted by any petty feeling, 
of showing I am not ignorant of what is consi- 
dered a secret, to declare all this. I know, I 
feel your silence was for the best, — that it was 
prompted by sweet and holy feelings for my 
sake. Believe me, my dear cousin, if any thing 
could increase the infinite affection with which 
I love you, it would be the consciousness, that 
at all times, whenever my image crosses your 
mind, it is to muse for my benefit, or to exte- 
nuate my errors. 

" Dear May, you, who know me better than 
the world, know well my heart is not a mass of 
ice ; and you, who are ever so ready to find a 
good reason, even for my most wilful conduct, 
and an excuse for my most irrational, will easily 
credit, that in interfering in an affair in which 
you are concerned, I am not influenced by an 
unworthy, an officious, or a meddling spirit. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 197 

No, my own ^lay ! it is because I think it bet- 
ter for you that we should speak upon this sub- 
ject, that I have ventured to treat upon it. 
Perhaps I broke it in a crude, but, credit me, 
not in an unkind spirit. I am well conscious I 
have a somewhat ungracious manner; but you, 
who have pardoned it so often, will excuse it 
now. To be brief, it is of your companion to 
that accursed ye^e that I would speak." 

" Mrs. Dallington ?" 

" Surely she. Avoid her. May. I do not 
like that woman. You know, I seldom speak 
at hazard : if I do not speak more distinctly 
now, it is because I will never magnify suspi- 
cions into certainties, which we must do even if 
we mention them. But I suspect — greatly sus- 
pect. An open rupture would be disagreeable 
— would be unwarrantable — would be impoli- 
tic. The season draws to a close. Quit town 
somewhat earlier than usual, and, in the mean 
time, receive her, if necessary — but, if possible, 
never alone. You have many friends ; and, if 



198 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

no other, Lady Caroline St. Maurice is worthy 
of your society."" 

He bent down his head, and kissed her fore- 
head : she pressed his faithful hand. 

" And now, dear May, let me speak of a 
less important object, — of myself. I find this 
borough a mere delusion. Every day new dif- 
ficulties arise ; and every day my chance seems 
weaker. I am wasting precious time, for one 
who should be in action. I think, then, of 
returning to Vienna, and at once. I have some 
chance of being appointed Secretary of Lega- 
tion, and I then shall have achieved what was 
the great object of my life — independence." 

" This is always a sorrowful subject to me, 
Arundel. You have cherished such strange — 
do not be offended, if I say, such erroneous 
ideas, on the subject of what you call Inde- 
pendence, that I feel that, upon it, we can con- 
sult neither with profit to you, nor satisfaction 
to myself. Independence ! Who is indepen- 
dent, if the heir of Dacre bow to any one ? 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 199 

Independence ! Who can be independent, if 
the future head of one of the first families in 
this great country will condescend to be the 
secretary even of a King ?" 

" We have often talked of this, May, and 
perhaps I have carried a morbid feeling to 
some excess ; but my paternal blood flows in 
these veins, and it is too late to change. I 
know not how it is, but I seem misplaced in 
life. My existence is a long blunder.*" 

" Too late to change, dearest Arundel ! 
Oh ! thank you for those words. Can it, can 
it ever be too late to acknowledge error ? Par- 
ticularly if, by that very acknowledgment, we 
not only secure our own happiness, but that of 
those we love, and those who love us.'' 

'' Dear May ! when I talk with you, I talk 
with my good genius ; but I am in closer and 
more constant converse with another mind, and 
of that I am the slave. It is my own. I will 
not conceal from you, from whom I have con- 
cealed nothing, that doubts and dark misgivings 



200 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

of the truth and wisdom of my past feelings, 
and my past career, -will ever and anon flit 
across my fancy, and obtrude themselves upon 

my consciousness. Your father yes ! I 

feel that I have not been to him what nature 
intended, and what he deserved." 

" Oh, Arundel !" she said with streaming 
eyes, " he loves you like a son. Yet, yet, be 
one !^' 

He seated himself on the sofa by her side, 
and took her small hand, and bathed it with 
his kisses 

" My sweet and faithful friend — my very 
sister. I am overpowered with feelings to 
which I have hitherto been a stranger. There 
is a cause for all this contest of my passions. 
It must out. INIy being has changed. The 
scales have fallen from my sealed eyes, and the 
fountain of my heart overflows. Life seems to 
have a new purpose, and existence a new cause. 
Listen to me, listen ; and if you can, May, 
comfort me !" 



THE YOUNG DURE. 201 



CHAPTER XVII. 

At Twickenham, the young Duke recovered 
rapidly. Not altogether displeased with his 
recent conduct, his self-complacency assisted 
his convalescence. Sir Lucius Grafton visited 
him daily. Regularly, about four or five 
o'clock, he galloped down to the Pavilion, 
with the last on dit : some gay message from 
the bow-window, a mot of Lord Squib, or a 
trait of Charles Annesley. But while he stu- 
died to amuse the wearisome hours of his im- 
prisoned friend, in the midst of all his gaiety, 
an interesting contrition was ever breaking 
forth, not so much by words as looks. It 
was evident that Sir Lucius, although he dis- 
K 5 



202 THE YOUNG DUKK. 

sembled his affliction, was seriously affected by 
the consequence of his rash passion ; and his 
amiable victim, whose magnanimous mind was 
incapable of harbouring an inimical feeling, and 
ever responded to a soft and generous senti- 
ment, felt actually more aggrieved for his un- 
happy friend, than for himself Of Arundel 
Dacre, the Duke had not seen much. That 
gentleman never particularly sympathized with 
Sir Lucius Grafton, and now he scarcely en- 
deavoured to conceal the little pleasure which 
he received from the Baronet's society. Sir 
Lucius was the last man not to detect this 
mood ; but as he was confident that the Duke 
had not betrayed him, he could only suppose 
that Miss Dacre had confided the afiair to her 
family, and therefore under all circumstances, 
he thought it best to be unconscious of any 
alteration in Arundel Dacre''s intercourse with 
him. Civil, therefore, they were when they 
met ; the Baronet was even courteous ; but they 
both mutually avoided each other. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 203 

At the end of three weeks, the Duke of St. 
James returned to town in perfect condition, 
and received the congratulations of his friends. 
Mr. Dacre had been of the few Avho had been 
permitted to visit him at Twickenham. No- 
thing had then passed between them on the 
cause of his illness; but his Grace could not 
but observe, that the manner of his valued 
friend was more than commonly cordial. And 
Miss Dacre, with her father, was among the 
first to hail his return to health and the 
metropolis. 

The Bird of Paradise, who, since the inci- 
dent, had been several times in hysterics, and 
had written various notes, of three or four lines 
each, of enquiries and entreaties to join her no- 
ble friend, had been kept off from Twickenham 
by the masterly tactics of Lord Squib. She 
however would drive to the Duke's house the 
day after his arrival in town, and was with him 
when sundry loud knocks, in quick succession, 
announced an approaching levee. He locked her 



204 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

up in his private room, and hastened to receive 
the compliments of his visitors. In the same 
apartment, among many others, he had the plea- 
sure of meeting, for the first time, Lady Aphro- 
dite Grafton, Lady Caroline St. Maurice, and 
IMiss Dacre, all women whom he had either pro- 
mised, intended, or offered to marry. A curious 
situation this ! And really, when our hero look- 
ed upon them once more, and viewed them, in 
delightful rivalry, advancing with their congra- 
tulations, he was not surprised at the feelings 
with which they had inspired him. Far, far 
exceeding the bonhommie of Macheath, the 
Duke could not resist remembering, that had 
it been his fortune to have lived in the land in 
which his historiographer will soon be wander- 
ing; in short, to have been a Pacha instead 
of a Peer, he might have married all three. 

A prettier fellow, and three prettier women, 
had never met since the immortal incident of 
Ida. 

It required the thorough breeding of Lady 



THE YOUNG DUKE 205 

Afy to conceal the anxiety of her passion ; May 
Dacre's eyes showered triple sunshine, as she 
extended a hand not too often offered ; but 
Lady Caroline was a cousin, and consanguinity, 
therefore, authorized as well as accounted for 
the warmth of her greeting. 



206 THE YOUNG DUKE. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

A VERY few days after his return, the Duke 
of St. James dined with Mr. Dacre. It was the 
first time that he had dined with him during 
the season. The Fitz-pompeys were there ; 
and among others, his Grace had the pleasure 
of again meeting a few of his Yorkshire friends. 

Once more, he found himself at the right- 
hand of ^lay Dacre. All his career, since his 
arrival in England, flitted across his mind. 
Doncaster, dear Doncaster, where he had first 
seen her, teemed only with delightful reminis- 
cences to a man whose favourite had bolted. 
Such is the magic of love ! Then came Castle 
Dacre and the Orange Terrace, and their ele- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 207 

gant romps, and the delightful party to Haute- 
ville ; and then, Dae re Abbey. An involuntary 
shudder seemed to damp all the ardour of his 
soul ; but when he turned and looked upon her 
beaming face, he could not feel miserable. 

He thought that he had never been at so 
agreeable a party in his life : yet it was chiefly 
composed of the very beings whom he daily 
execrated for their powers of boredom. And 
he himself was not very entertaining. He was 
certainly more silent than loquacious, and 
found himself very often gazing with mute 
admiration on the little mouth, every word 
breathed forth from which seemed inspiration. 
Yet he was happy. Oh ! what happiness is 
his, who dotes upon a woman ! Few could 
observe from his conduct what was passing in 
his mind; yet the quivering of his softened 
tones, and the mild lustre of his mellowed 
gaze ; his subdued and quiet manner ; his un- 
perceived yet infinite attentions ; his memory 
of little incidents, that all but lovers would 



208 THE YOUNG DUKB. 

have forgotten ; the total absence of all com- 
pliment, and gallantry, and repartee — all these, 
to a fine observer, might have been gentle in- 
dications of a strong passion ; and to her to 
whom they were addressed, sufficiently inti- 
mated, that no change had taken place in his 
feelings, since the warm hour in which he first 
whispered his ©""erpowering love. 

The ladies retired, and the Duke of St. 
James fell into a reverie. A political discourse 
of the most elaborate genius now arose. Lord 
Fitz-pompey got parliamentary. Young Faul- 
con made his escape, having previously whis- 
pered to another youth, not unheard by the 
Duke of St. James, that his mother was about 
to depart, and he was convoy. His Grace, too, 
had heard Lady Fitz-pompey say, that she was 
going early to the Opera. Shortly afterwards, 
parties evidently retired. But the debate still 
raged. Lord Fitz-pompey had caught a stout 
Yorkshire squire, and was delightedly astound- 
ing, with official graces, his stern opponent. A 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 209 

sudden thought occurred to the Duke ; he 
stole out of the room, and gained the saloon. 

He found it almost empty. With sincere 
pleasure, he bid Lady Balmont, who was on the 
point of departure, farewell, and promised to 
look in at her box. He seated himself by Lady 
Greville Nugent, and dexterously made her 
follow Lady Balmont^s example. She with- 
drew with the conviction, that his Grace would 
not be a moment behind her. There was only 
old Mrs. Hungerford and her rich daughter 
remaining. They were in such raptures with 
Miss Dacre's singing, that his Grace was quite 
in despair; but chance favoured him. Even 
old Mrs. Hungerford this night broke through 
her rule of not going to more than one house, 
and she drove off to Lady de Courcy's. 

They were alone. It is sometimes an awful 
thing to be alone with those we love. 

" Sing that again !" asked the Duke, im- 
ploring. '' It is my favourite air; it always 
reminds me of Dacre." 



210 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

She sang, she ceased ; she sang with beauty, 
and she ceased with grace ; but all unnoticed 
by the tumultuous soul of her adoring guest. 
His thoughts were intent upon a greater object. 
The opportunity was sweet; and yet those bois- 
terous wassailers, they might spoil all. 

" Do you know that this is the first time 
that I have seen your rooms lit up .^" said the 
Duke. 

" Is it possible! I hope they gain the ap- 
probation of so distinguished a judge." 

" I admire them exceedingly. By the by, 
I see a new cabinet in the next room. Swaby 
told me the other day, that you were one of 
his lady patronesses. I wish you would show 
it me. I am very curious in cabinets." 

She rose, and they advanced to the end of 
another and a longer room. 

" This is a beautiful saloon," said the Duke. 
" How long is it ?" 

" I really do not know ; but I think, between 
forty and fifty feet." 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 211 

" Oh ! you must be mistaken. Forty or fifty 
feet. I am an excellent judge of distances. I 
will try. Forty or fifty feet. Ah ! the third 
room included. Let us walk to the end of the 
next room. Each of my paces shall be one foot 
and half." 

They had now arrived at the end of the third 
room. 

" Let me see," resumed the Duke ; '' you 
have a small room to the right. Oh ! did I not 
hear that you had made a conservatory? I 
see — I see it — lit up too! Let us go in. I 
want to gain some hints about London con- 
servatories.*" 

It was not exactly a conservatory ; but a bal- 
cony of large dimensions had been fitted up on 
each side ^vith coloured glass, and was open to 
the gardens. It was a rich night of fragrant 
June. The moon and stars were as bright as 
if they had shone over the terrace of Dacre, 
and the perfume of the flowers reminded him 
of his favourite orange- trees. The mild, cool 



212 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

scene was such a contrast to the hot and noisv 
chamber they had recently quitted, that for a 
moment they were silent. 

" You are not afraid of this delicious air P*" 
asked his Grace. 

" Midsummer air," said Miss Dacre, " must 
surely be harmless." 

Again there was silence ; and Miss Dacre, 
after having plucked a flower and tended a 
plant, seemed to express an intention of with- 
drawing. Suddenly he spoke, and in a gushing 
voice of heartfelt words. 

" Miss Dacre, you are too kind, too excel- 
lent to be offended, if I dare to ask whether 
anything could induce you to view with more 
indulgence one who sensibly feels how utterly 
he is unworthy of you ?'"' 

" My Lord, you are the last man whose feel- 
incTS I should wish to hurt. Let us not revive 
a conversation to which, I can assure you, nei- 
ther of us looks back with satisfaction." 

" Is there then no hope.^ Must I ever live 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 213 

with the consciousness of being the object of 
your scorn ?" 

** Oh ! no, no ! My Lord, as you will speak, 
let us understand each other. However I may 
approve of my decision, I have lived quite long 
enough to repent the manner in which it was 
conveyed. I cannot, without the most unfeign- 
ed regret — I cannot for a moment remember, 
that I have addressed a bitter word to one to 
whom I am under the greatest obligations. If 
my apologies — " 

" Pray, pray be silent !" 

" I must speak. If my apologies, my most 
complete, my most humble apologies can be 
any compensation for treating with such light- 
ness feelings which I now respect, and offers by 
which I now consider myself honoured, — accept 
them !" 

" Oh ! Miss Dacre, that fatal word — re- 
spect !" 

" My Lord, we have warmer words in this 
house for you. You are now our friend." 



214 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

'* I dare not urge a suit which may offend 
you ; yet if you could read my heart, I some- 
times think that we might be happy. Let me 
hope !" 

'' My dear Duke of St. James, I am sure you 
will not ever offend me, because I am sure you 
will not ever wish to do it. There are few 
people in this world for whom I entertain a 
more sincere regard than yourself. I am con- 
vinced, I am conscious, that when we met, I did 
sufficient justice neither to your virtues nor 
your talents. It is impossible for me to express 
with what satisfaction I now feel, that you 
have resumed that place in the affections of this 
family to which you have an hereditary right. 
I am grateful, truly, sincerely grateful for 
all that you feel with regard to me individually ; 
and believe me, in again expressing my regret 
that it is not in my power to view you in any 
other light than as a valued friend, I feel, that 
I am pursuing that conduct which will corduce 
as much to your happiness as my own." 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 215 

" My happiness. Miss Dacre !" 

" Indeed, such is my opinion. I will not 
again endeavour to depreciate the feelings 
which you entertain for me, and by which, ever 
remember, I feel honoured ; but these very 
feelings prevent you from viewing their object 
as dispassionately as I do." 

" I am at a loss for your meaning — at least, 
favour me by speaking explicitly: — you see, 
I respect your sentiments, and do not presume 
to urge that on which my very happiness 
depends." 

" To be brief then, my Lord, I will not affect 
to conceal that marriage is a state w^hich has 
often been the object of my meditations. I 
think it the duty of all women, that so impor- 
tant a change in their destiny should be well 
considered. If I know anything of myself, I 
am convinced that I should never survive an 
unhappy marriage." 

" But why dream of any thing so utterly 
impossible .?" 



216 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

" So very probable, — so very certain, you 
mean, my Lord. Ay ! I repeat my words, for 
they are truth. If I ever marry, it is to devote 
every feeling, and every thought, each hour, 
each instant of existence, to a single being for 
whom I alone live. Such devotion I expect in 
return ; without it, I should die, or wish to die; 
but such devotion can never be returned by 
you." 

" You amaze me ! I ! who live only on your 
image.*" 

'* My Lord, 3'our education, the habits in 
which you are brought up, the maxims which 
have been instilled into you from your infancy, 
the system which each year of your life has more 
matured, the worldly levity with which every 
thing connected with woman is viewed by you 
and your companions ; whatever may be your 
natural dispositions, — all this would prevent 
you — all this would render it a perfect impos- 
sibility, — all this will ever make you utterly 
unconscious of the importance of the subject 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 217 

on which we are now conversing. My Lord, 
pardon me for saying it, you know not of what 
you speak. Yes ! however sincere may he the 
expression of your feelings to me this moment, 
I shudder to think on whom your memory 
dwelt even this hour, but yesterday. I never 
will peril my happiness on such a chance ; but 
there are others, my Lord, who do not think 
as I do." 

^' May Dacre ! save me, save me ! If you 
knew all, you would not doubt. This moment 
is my destiny.'^ 

" My Lord, save yourself. There is yet 
time. You have my prayers."" 

" Let me then hope "''' 

" Indeed, indeed, it cannot be. Here our 
conversation on this subject ends for ever.*''' 

"Yet we part friends!" He spoke in a 
broken voice. 

" The best and truest !'' She extended her 
arm ; he pressed her hand to his impassioned 

VOL. II. L 



218 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

lips, and quitted the house, mad with love and 
misery. 

This scene should have been touching ; but 
I know not why, when I read it over, it seems 
to me a tissue of half-meanings. What I meant 
is stamped upon my brain, if indeed I have a 
brain ; but I have lost the power of conveying 
what I feel, if indeed that power were ever 
mine. I write with an aching head and quiver- 
ing hand ; yet I must write, if but to break the 
solitude, which is to me a world quick with 
exciting life: I scribble to divert a brain, 
which, though weak, will struggle with strong 
thoughts, and lest my mind should muse itself 
to madness. 

The mind is an essence, there is no doubt, 
and infinitely superior to the grosser body. 
Yet somehow that rebel will turn round upon 
its chief, and wonderfully mar our great ca- 
reers. Mind is a fine thing, I won't deny it, 
and mine was once as full of pride and hope as 
infant empire. But where are now my deeds 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 219 

and aspirations, and where the fame I dreamed 
of when a boy ? I find the world just slipping 
through my fingers, and cannot grasp the jewel 
ere it falls. I quit an earth, where none will 
ever miss me, save those whose blood requires 
no laurels to make them love my memory. 
My life has been a blunder and a blank, and 
all ends by my adding one more slight ghost to 
the shadowy realm of fatal precocity ! These 
are the rubs that make us feel the vanity of 
life — the littleness of man. Yet I do not groan, 
and will not murmur. My punishment is no 
caprice of tyranny. I brought it on myself, as 
greater men have done before. Prometheus is 
a lesson how to bear torture ; but I think my 
case is most like Nebuchadnezzar's. 

But this is dull. I know not how it is ; 
but as is the custom to observe, when some- 
thing is about to be said particularly fiat, I 
have " a shrewd suspicion," that our liglit talc 
is growing tragical. When men have been 
twice rejected, their feelings are somewhat 
L 2 



2-20 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Strange; and when men feel keenly, they act 
violently. I have half a mind to give it up, 
and leave these two volumes in imperfect beau- 
ty, like two lone columns on an Argive plain. 

Perhaps it is the hour, — perhaps the place ; 
but I am gloomy. The moon is in her mid- 
night bower, and from the walls of the huge 
hall in which I sit, many a marble chief and 
canvass cardinal frown, as it were, upon the 
intrusive stranger, who sits scribbling in their 
presence, and whom, if they were alive, they 
would no more think of stabbing, poisoning, 
or burning, than of eating flesh in Lent. A 
moan is heard, too, in the lengthening galleries, 
and doors slam in chambers which none e'er 
enter. There is nothing so vast and desolate 
as an Italian palace. 

I am a great votary of the genius loci : it is 
a doctrine I have often proved. Now, if I 
were seated in some Albanian chambers, all 
varnished mahogany, and crimson damask, 
round tables, and square couches, with dwarf 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 221 

bookcases, which hold not too many volumes, 
and ever and anon crowned with a bronze or 
bust, some slight antique, which just reminds 
us, that had we lived at Athens or at Rome, we 
are of the select few who would have joined 
Aspasian coteries and Horatian suppers, — or, 
if even I had taken refuge in a temporary apart- 
ment in dingy Jermyn Street, or sly St. James*** 
Palace, some little room, small, snug, and 
smoky, cozy, neat, and warm, and very com- 
fortable, — why then, affairs would alter. I'd 
snuff my candles, and I 'd poke my fire, and 
with a pen brisk as the morn, glance off a chap- 
ter which might make some people stare ; for 
even the critics, never much my friends, con- 
fess I have shown a considerable turn for satire. 
But after one-and-twenty, men grow mild — 
at least, I did. And so this rare gift o-ets 
thrown by with cricket, boxing, fencing, foils, 
and fives, — all pursuits, excellence in which, as 
in satire, depends on hitting hard. So a little 
calm gaiety is all I now allow myself, and after 



222 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

that, I am ever doubly serious, as thrifty house- 
wives occasionally indulge in a slight debauch, 
and tax the ensuing week the butcher's bill. 

I said the critics were never much my friends, 
which I regret, and which has occasioned me 
many a heartache. Because we all know, that 
they are always right, and never make a miss. 
So, their approbation is a feather in an author's 
cap, and infinitely to be preferred to public 
sympathy and private praise. 

I don't know how it was, but certainly I did 
not hit the fancy of these gentry. I suppose I 
tried to mount the throne without the permis- 
sion of the Praetorians. In the literary as 
in all other worlds, the way to rise is to be 
patronized. " Talent"" is admired; but then it 
must be docile, and defer. In spite of my many 
faults, the cant of the clique was wanting, and 
the freemasons discovered I was not a brother. 
I am sure I had no wish, and no intention, to 
mingle in their ranks. I dressed some crude 
inventions in a thoughtless style, without any 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 223 

idea my page would live beyond the week that 
gave it birth. I was brought up in due ab- 
horrence of this unthrifty life, and was kept 
from ink as some boys are kept from wine, or 
from what grave Signors think even worse. 

There also was a rumour ripe and deep, that 
I had ventured to doubt the inspiration of some 
exalted bards, whose seats upon Parnassus were 
so high, that I suppose they were covered with 
the clouds, for I had never yet detected their 
divinity ships. But nevertheless it was voted, 
nem. con., that innocent I must be the blas- 
pheming rogue, and so all Grub Street sent 
its toothless mastiffs at my heretic feet. There 
is nothing so virulent as an irritated dunce, 
particularly if he be on a wrong scent. In 
short, I. was voted quite a dangerous character 
— one of those who would not cry svpYixu 
o'er a genius not yet found, or fall into ecstasies 
at the originality of an echo. 

I understand that it was settled that I should 
be written down. I wonder why these kind 



224 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

gentlemen did not succeed. I am sure I did 
every thing 1 could to help them. Sometimes 
I was very fine, and sometimes much too witty. 
Then, I have seen even purer English than 
my earliest page ; but perhaps my foreign slip- 
slop made up for that, which indicated the 
travelled man. 

But the public backed me, as we back the 
weaker party in a boisterous row. The pubhc 
will sometimes read the book they ought not. 
'' Tis true, 'tis pity, pity 'tis, 'tis true." But 
this blundering brings gall to the critic's lip, and 
many a bilious " article" flows from a pen 
which itself has failed where the stigmatized 
has succeeded. When I begin again, I shall 
know better. I am not one of those minds on 
wliich experience is thrown away. I will get a 
magazine or so to say something for me sweet 
and soft. Who knows then what I may not 
come to ! Perhaps some congenial editor may 
some day hail me as " a talented young man !" 
Perhaps, in the long perspective of my glory, I 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 225 

may even in time be reckoned a supernumerary 
of the " two thousand most distinguished wri- 
ters of the day." And, after all, it is amusing 
to find even my boyish nonsense, the flagrant 
defects of which could only be excused by the 
speedy oblivion which awaited them, upon the 
Rhine, the Danube, and the Elbe. I have had 
my back, too, patted on the Seine, and shrugged 
my shoulders over indiscretions which had 
travelled even as far as where the mountains 
shoot the turbid Arno from their dark green 
womb. 

If I might be permitted to give an opinion, 
which I never do, I should say that bluster 
was scarcely the right way to stifle youth. A 
sneer is the most active hostility that I should 
recommend under such circumstance; but the 
best would be silence. As we advance, quiet is 
the TO x«Xov of existence; but when we are 
juvenals, and think the world a great matter, 
and ourselves not altogether the most insignifi- 
cant part of it, we are but too ready to put on 
l5 



226 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

the gloves, and young blood is not exactly the 
fluid to be bullied. I am sure that ray first 
literary offence would have been my last, if I 
had not been dared; but when scribbling be- 
came a point of honour, I set-to, and would 
not prove a craven. 

The public backed me : I am very willing to 
ascribe their support merely to their good- 
nature, for I have found mankind far more 
amiable than once, misled by books, I dared 
to hope. But lest this cause alone should be 
considered a slur upon their discrimination, I 
will believe, that some few sparks of feeling 
rose from my false inventions, some slight flame 
of truth broke out from my dark crudities, and 
won their sympathy. 

In this artificial world, -we pine for nature, 
and we sigh for truth. It is this that makes 
us hasten to fictitious worlds to find what in 
our own should be, and yet is not. It is this 
that makes us prize the page that makes us 
feel. It is this that bows us down before the 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 227 

magic of creative mind, whose inspiration is 
but the voice of disabused humanity. He 
who, while he shares the passions of his race, 
yet muses deeply on their deep results, and 
searching into his own breast, can transform 
experience into existence, and create past 
passions into present life — he who can do all 
this without the cynic's sneer or sophisms 
gloss, is a rare being ; — but where is he ? 

Since the Thunderer sank to night in Misso- 
longhi's fatal marsh, the intellectual throne has 
remained vacant. His chiefs and rivals will 
neither claim, nor yield, the proud preemi- 
nence. Each feels that supremacy must be the 
meed of novel conquests ; and it is too late for 
that. Some, like Napoleon's marshals, have 
grown fat and rich ; some, which is much 
worse, lean and grey. So, these heroes divide 
the provinces, and repose under their laurels, 
that is to say, they amuse themselves with 
some slight deeds, which, by their contrast, 
keep alive the memory of their great achieve- 



228 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

meiits. One founds a school ; another writes 
a school-book. Having enchanted the fa- 
thers, they condescend to conjure before the 
children. 

Moore alone, like ]\Iurat charging in the 
hottest fight, still maintains the war. Oh ! 
long may victory poise on his unsullied plume ! 
— long may the trenchant sabre of his wit gleam 
in our ranks, and long his trumpet sound to 
triumph ! Methinks that whenever he may 
leave us — on that day, the sun will be less 
warm, the stars less bright, the moon less soft ; 
— that a cloud will burst over the gardens of 
Cashmere, and the Peris grow pale in the pa- 
laces of Amrabad ; — that every nightingale will 
pine, and every rose will fade ! 

But while the Paladins surround the throne 
with their broad shields, and in oligarchical 
disdain support the literary regency, a far 
different scene opens without the pale. There 
I view a vast, tumultuous crowd, mad with 
the lust of praise, and fierce with the ungorged 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 229 

appetite of insatiable vanity. Fired with the 
glory that the great captains have won in long 
campaigns, and flushed with the prospect of 
the distant crown, bands rush to fight, and, as 
they hope, to conquer. How wide the combat ! 
How innumerable the combatants ! What in- 
finite rashness! What unprecedented self- 
confidence ! What vast variety of manoeuvres ! 
What complicated tactics ! What bootless and 
yet unceasing stratagems ! What deceitful 
exultation ! What idle boasting ! What false 
triumph ! What struggling, what panting, 
what cursing, and what a dust ! 

But when that dust subsides, as ever and 
anon a calm will hang o'er battle ; what see we 
then ? The throne still empty, and the guard 
unbroke; and the plain strewn only with the 
exhausted bodies and brittle armour of the 
hot but weak assailants. Then the game 
begins again. A fresh hero darts on the field, 
amid the hired cheers of hollow tribes; but ere 
their leader throws his boastful lance, he turns 



230 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

a craven. Each moment has its miracle, that 
proves a cheat ; each hour, its fresh prophet, 
that predicts the past. 

I say nothing, because I am no judge; but 
I will say this, that all cannot be the right man. 
The minds of men are, on the whole, very 
similar, and genius is, whatever some may 
think, a very rare production. When I watch 
this scene of ineffectual strife, and mark them 
chasing shadows, in spite of all their high fan- 
tastic tricks, their elaborate caprice, their affect- 
ed novelty, their disguised and salted staleness, 
their stolen beauty and their studied grace, first 
as I would be to hail a master-sprite, I see 
nothing but the Protean forms of multiplied 
mediocrity. They are too many. As in the 
last days of the fated city, each alley has its 
prophet. All I hope is, that before I eat a 
kabob in Persia, they wiU have discovered the 
true leader ; and that when I return, if I do 
return, I may find a good literary creed, strong, 
vehement, and infallible. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 231 

I wash my hands of any participations in 
this contest. What I am, I know not, nor do 
I care. I have that -within me, which man 
can neither give nor take away, which can 
throw hght on the darkest passages of life, and 
draw, from a discordant world, a melody 
divine. For it I would live, and for it alone. 
Oh I my soul, must we then part ! Is this 
the end of all our conceptions, all our mus- 
ings, our panting thoughts, our gay fan- 
cies, our bright imaginings, our delicious re- 
veries, and exquisite communing r Is this the 
end, the great and full result, of all our sweet 
society ? I care not for myself ; I am a wretch 
beneath even pity. My thousand errors, my 
ten thousand follies, my infinite corruption, 
have well deserved a bitterer fate than this. 

But thou ! I feel I have betrayed thee. 

Hadst thou been the inmate of more spiritual 
clay, bound with a brain less headstrong, and 
with blood less hot, thou mightest have been 
glorious. I care not for myself, but thou — the 



232 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

bright friend that ne'er was wanting, that in 
my adversity hast softened sorrow, and in -my 
days of joy have tripled rapture, who hast 
made obscurity an empire, and common life a 
pageant — thou, Haram of my life, to whose 
inviolable shrine I fled in all my griefs, and 
found a succour, must we then part indeed, my 
delicate Ariel ! and must thou quit this earth 
without a record ! Oh ! mistress, that I have 
ever loved ! — oh ! idol, that I have ever wor- 
shipped ! how like a fond wife, who clings 
even closer when we wrong her most, how 
faithful art thou, even in this hour of need, 
and how consoling is thy whispering voice ! 

Where are we ? I think I was saying, that 
His difficult to form an opinion of ourselves. 
They say it is impossible ; which sounds like 
sense, and probably is truth. And yet, I some- 
times think I write a pretty style, though spoil- 
ed by that confounded puppyism ; but, then, 
mine is the puppy age, and that will wear off. 
Then, too, there are my vanity, my conceit, my 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 233 

affectation, my arrogance, and my egotism ; all 
very heinous, and painfully contrasting with 
the imperturbable propriety of my fellow-scrib- 
blers, — " All gentlemen in stays, as stiff as 
stones." But I may mend, or they fall off, and 
then the odds will be more equal. 

Thank Heavens ! I am emancipated. It was 
a hard struggle, and cost me dear. Born in 
the most artificial country of this most artificial 
age, was it wonderful that I imbibed its false 
views, and shared its fatal passions ? But 
I rode out the storm, and found a port, 
although a wreck. I look back with disgust 
upon myself, — on them, with pity. A qualm 
comes over me when, for a moment, I call to 
mind their little jealousies and their minute 
hatreds, their wretched plans, and miserable 
purposes ; their envy, their ignorance, and their 
malice ; their strife, their slander, their strug- 
gles, their false excitement, and their fictitious 
rapture ; their short-sighted views, and long 
delusions. 



234 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

Is it not wisdom, then, to fly from all this 
hot anxiety and wearing care, and to forget 
these petty griefs, and pettier joys, by the soft 
waters of this southern sea ? Here I find all 
that I long have thirsted for. Here, my soul 
throws off the false ideas of vulgar life, and 
recurs to its own nature. Here, each beam is 
rapture, and each breeze is bliss. Here, my 
days are reveries, and my nights are dreams. 
Here, each warm morn, I muse o'er exquisite 
creation ; and, when the twilight blushes in the 
west, I hear a whispering sound that Nature 
sends, which tells me secrets man cannot invent. 
Oh ! why cannot hfe be passed in perpetual 
thought, and in the excitement of beautiful 
ideas ! 

And here, as far as converse is concerned, I 
now could live without mankind ; but I should 
miss their exquisite arts, which render existence 
more intense. Ah ! that my earliest youth had 
wandered here ! Ah ! that my fathers ne'er 
had left their shores ! I check the thought, for 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 235 

while I muse, my memory wanders to another 
region, and too well I feel that, even amid the 
blue ^Egean isles, my thoughts will fly to a 
remoter land and colder sea. 

Oh, England ! — Oh ! my country — not in 
hate I left thee — not in bitterness am I wan- 
dering here. My heart is thine, although my 
shadow falls upon a foreign strand ; and al- 
though fuU many an Eastern cUme and South- 
ern race have given me something of their burn- 
ing blood, it flows for thee ! I rejoice that my 
flying fathers threw their ancient seed on the 
stern shores which they have not dishonoured : 
— I am proud to be thy child. Thy noble 
laws have fed with freedom a soul that ill can 
brook constraint. Among thy hallowed hearths, 
I own most beautiful affections. In thy abound- 
ing tongue, my thoughts find music ; and with 
the haughty fortunes of thy realm, my destiny 
would mingle ! 

What ! though the immortal glory, which 
here shoots forth from out the tombs of em- 



236 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

pires, bathes with no lambent gleams thy im. 
memorial cliffs ! Still there we proudly witness 
the more active sublimity of great and growing 
empire. What Rome and Carthage were, thou 
art, conjoined, my country ! In each eternal 
zone, there floats the sovereign standard of St. 
George, and each vast deep groans with the 
haughty bulwarks of the globe. Earth has 
none like unto thee, thou Queen of universal 
waters ! Europe watches thy nod. The paint- 
ed Indian vails his feathery crown to thee. 
Thee sultry Afric fears ; and dusky Asia is thy 
teeming dower ! 

What! though no purple skies, no golden 
suns, gild in thy land the olive and the vine- 
yet beauty lingers in thy quiet vales, and health 
still wanders on thy peaceful plains, rich with 
no human gore. Nature has given thee much ; 
and all that she has denied, is the quick tribute 
of the hastening climes. Free are thy sons, and 
high their rising hearts, that pant for power ; 
and whom in the harams of the glowing earth, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 237 

whither I bend my fated steps, shall I find to 
match the dazzling daughters of my native 
land ? 

Alas ! that hot anxiety should spoil the 
noblest nation that ever rose to empire ! 
Oh ! my countrymen, think — think ere it is 
too late, that life is love, and love is Heaven. 
Feel — feel, that wealth is but a means, and 
power an instrument. Away, then, with the 
short-sighted views of harsh utility ! Our hours 
are few, — they might be beautiful. Our life is 
brief, — but pleasure lengthens days. Man is 
made for absolute enjoyment. " It is thy 
vocation, Hal !" and they may preach, and 
groan, growl, and hiss, but for this we live, 
and, sooner or later, to this we shall recur. 
The new philosophy that is at liand, is but 
an appeal to our five senses. I may not live to 
hear its gay decrees, nor may my son ; but I 
feel confident the Golden Age is not far off. The 
world is round, — so is eternity, and so is time. 
The Iron Age must cease, although by polish 



238 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

we have contrived to make it steel. Man can 
bear it no longer, — and then King Saturn will 
hold his court again. We have had enough of 
bloody Jupiter. And so, farewell, my country ! 
Few can love thee better than he who traces 
here these idle lines. Worthier heads are 
working for thy glory and thy good ; but if 
ever the hour shall call, my brain and life 
are thine. 

Meantime, I cast my fortunes on the waters. 
Let them waft me where they wist. Where'er 
my fate may urge me, I can view the world 
with a deep passion, that can extract a moral 
from the strange, and draw from loneliness 
delight. 

My gentle reader ! — gentle you have been to 
me, and ever kind — broad seas, and broader 
lands, divide us. We no longer meet. Take, 
then, these pages as a morning call. Methinks, 
even as I write, my faithful steed stops at thy 
cherished door. Once more, thy smoky knocker 
soils my rosy glove ; once more, thy portal 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 239 

opens, and the geranium gale heralds the 
sweetness of thy chambers. We meet, and 
while you net a purse, or some small work, 
which exercises, at the same time, the body 
and the mind, you are also excessively amus- 
ing. How amiable is your scandal ! How 
piquant your morality ! Aurelia is about to 
be married, but she herself is not sure to which 
brother : she is so good-natured ! And Bril- 
liant says, that Louisa's eyebrows fell off in the 
agitation of a new dance, — but he is not to be 
believed : he is so ill-natured ! And thus glides 
on an hour in easy chat, until a pealing knock 
drives me away — a nervous man who shuns a 
strange incursion. We part with the hope, 
that the Park or the Opera may again bring 
together, in the course of four-and-twenty hours, 
the two most amusing people in town. 

Dreams ! dreams ! Oh ! why from out the 
misty caves of Memory, call I these visions to 
the light of life ? And yet there is a charm in 
just remembering we have been charmed. There 



240 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

is something soft and soothing in the reminis- 
cence of a lounging hour. But, hark ! The 
convent bell sends forth a matin peal. I hear 
the wakening of an early bird, — I feel the fresh- 
ness of the gro^ving morn. I have exceeded all 
bounds, and shall get reported, for I have a 
spy in my establishment. That I have long dis- 
covered. I think it must be my valet ; but he 

vows it is the cook, who again protests but 

I ll unearth the traitor, and put him on board 
wages for his pains. In the mean time, I must 
prepare for a rowing letter by return of post. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 241 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The Duke threw himself into his carriage in 
that mood which fits us for desperate deeds. 
What he intended to do, indeed, was doubt- 
ful, but something very vigorous, very decided, 
perhaps very terrible. An indefinite great 
effort danced, in misty magnificence, before the 
vision of his mind. His whole being was to be 
changed — his life was to be revolutionized. 
Such an alteration was to take place, that even 
she could not doubt the immense yet incredible 
result. Then Despair whispered its cold-blooded 
taunts, and her last hopeless words echoed in 
his ear. But he was too agitated to be calmly 
miserable, and, in the poignancy of his feelings, 

VOL. II. M 



242 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

he even meditated death. One thing, however, 
he could obtain, — one instant relief was yet in 

his power solitude. He panted for the 

loneliness of his own chamber, broken only by 
his agitated musings. 

The carriage stopped ; the lights and noise 
called him to life. This, surely, could not be 
home ? Whirled open the door, down dashed 
the steps, with all that prompt precision which 
denotes the practised hand of an aristocratic 
retainer. 

" What is all this, Symmons ? Why did you 
not drive home .?" 

" Your Grace forgets, that Mr. Annesley 
and some gentlemen sup with your Grace to- 
night at the Alhambra.'' 

" Impossible ! Drive home." 
" Your Grace perhaps forgets, that your 
Grace is expected .?*'"' said the experienced ser- 
vant, who knew when to urge a master, who, 
to-morrow, might blame him for permitting his 
caprice. 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 243 

" What am 1 to do ? Stay here, I will run 
up-stairs and put them off." 

He ran up into the crush room. The Opera 
was just over, aad some parties, who were not 
staying the ballet, had already assembled there. 
As he passed along, he was stopped by Lady 
Fitz-pompey, who would not let such a capital 
opportunity escape of exhibiting Caroline and 
the young Duke together. 

" Bulkley," said her Ladyship, " there must 
be something wrong about the carriage." An 
experienced, middle-aged gentleman, who job- 
bed on in society, by being always ready, and 
knowing his cue, resigned the arm of Lady 
Caroline St. Maurice, and disappeared. 

" George," said Lady Fitz-pompey, " give 
your arm to Carry, just for one moment." 

If it had been any body but his cousin, the 
Duke would have easily escaped; but Caroline 
he invariably treated with marked regard < 
perhaps because his conscience occasionally 
reproached him, that he had not treated her 
M 2 



244 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

with a stronger feeling. At this moment, too, 
she was the only being in the world, save one, 
whom he could remember with satisfaction : he 
felt that he loved her most affectionately, but 
somehow she did not inspire him with those 
peculiar feelings which thrilled his heart at 
the recollection of May Dacre. 

In this mood, he offered an arm, which was 
accepted; but he could not in a moment as- 
sume the tone of mind befitting his situation 
and the scene. He was silent ; for him a re- 
markable circumstance. 

" Do not stay here," said Lady Caroline in 
a soft voice, which her mother could not over- 
hear. " I know you want to be away. Steal off." 

" Where can I be better than with you, 
Carry .?" said the young Duke, determined not 
to leave her, and loving her still more for her 
modest kindness ; and thereon he turned round, 
and, to show that he was sincere, began talking 
with his usual spirit. Mr. Bulkley of course 
never returned, and Lady Fitz-pompey felt as 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 245 

satisfied with her diplomatic talents, as a ple- 
nipotentiary who has just arranged an advan- 
tageous treaty. 

Arundel Dacre came up, and spoke to Lady 
Fitz-pompey. Never did two persons converse 
together who were more dissimilar in their man- 
ner and their feelings ; and yet Arundel Dacre 
did contrive to talk, — a result which he could not 
always accomplish, even with those who could 
sympathize with him. Lady Fitz-pompey lis- 
tened to him with attention ; for Arundel Dacre, 
in spite of his odd manner, or perhaps in some 
degree in consequence of it, had obtained a dis- 
tinguished reputation both among men and wo- 
men ; and it was the great principle of Lady 
Fitz-pompey to attach to her the distinguished 
youth of both sexes. She was pleased with 
this public homage of Arundel Dacre ; because 
he was one who, with the reputation of talents, 
family, and fashion, seldom spoke to any one, 
and his attentions elevated their object. Thus 
she maintained her empire. 



246 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

St. Maurice now came up to excuse himself 
to the young Duke, for not attending at the 
Alhambra to-night. " Sophy could not bear 
it,'' he whispered ; " she had got her head full 
of the most ridiculous fancies, and it was in 
vain to speak : so he had promised to give up 
that, as well as Crockford's." 

This reminded our hero of his party, and the 
purpose of his entering the Opera. He deter- 
mined not to leave Caroline till her carriage was 
called; and he began to think that he really 
must go to the Alhambra, after all. He resolved 
to send them off at an early hour. 

" Any thing new to-night, Henry .'*'*'' asked 
his Grace of Lord St. Maurice. " I have just 
come in." 

" Oh ! then you have seen them ?'^ 

" Seen whom .?"" 

" The most knowing forestieri we ever had. 
We have been speaking of nothing else the 
whole evening. Has not Caroline told you ? 
Arundel Dacre introduced me to them."" 

" ^yho are they ?"" 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 247 

" I forget their names. — Dacre, how do you 
call the heroes of the night ? Dacre never an- 
swers. Did you ever observe that ? But, see ! 
there they come." 

The Duke turned, and observed Lord Dar- 
rell advancing with two gentlemen, with whom 
his Grace was well acquainted. These were 
Prince Charles de Whiskerburg and Count 
FriU. 

None of your paltry ****^** princes, none of 
your scampy ****** counts, but nobles such as 
Hungary and Britain can alone produce. M. 
de Whiskerburg was the eldest son of a prince, 
who, besides being the premier noble of the em- 
pire, possessed, in his own country, a very pretty 
park of two or three hundred miles in circum- 
ference, in the boundaries of which the imperial 
mandate was not current, but hid its diminish- 
ed head before the supremacy of a subject wor- 
shipped under the title of John the Twenty- 
fourth. M. de Whiskerburg was a very young 
man, very tall, with a very fine figure, and very 
fine features. In short, a sort of Hungarian 



248 THE YOUNG DUKR. 

Apollo ; only his beard, his mustachios, his whis- 
kers, his fdvoris, his padishas, his sultanas, his 
niignonettas, his dulcibellas, did not certainly 
entitle him to the epithet of imberbis, and made 
him rather an after- representative of the Hun- 
garian Hercules. 

Count Frill was a very different sort of per- 
sonage. He was all rings and ringlets, ruffles, 
and a little rouge. Much older than his com- 
panion, short in stature, plump in figure, but 
with a most defined waist, fair, blooming, with a 
multiplicity of long light curls, and a perpetual 
smile playing upon his round countenance, he 
looked like the Cupid of an Opera Olympus. 

The Duke of St. James had been very inti- 
mate with these distinguished gentlemen in 
their own country, and had received from 
them many and most distinguished attentions. 
Often had he expressed to them his sincere de- 
sire to greet them in his native land. Their mu- 
tual anxiety, of never again meeting, was now 
removed. If his heart, instead of being bruised, 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 249 

was absolutely broken, still honour, conscience, 
the glory of his House, his individual reputa- 
tion, alike urged him not to be cold or back- 
ward at such a moment. He advanced, there- 
fore, with a due mixture of grace and warmth, 
and congratulated them on their arrival. At 
this moment, Lady Fitz-pompey's carriage was 
announced. Promising to return to them in an 
instant, he hastened to his cousin ; but Mr. 
Arundel Dacre had already oiFered his arm, 
which, for Arundel Dacre, was really pretty well. 
The Duke was now glad that he had a small 
re-union this evening, as he could at once pay 
a courtesy to his foreign friends. He ran into 
the Signora's dressing-room, to assure her of 
his presence. He stumbled upon Peacock Pig- 
gott as he came out, and summoned him to fill 
the vacant place of St. Maurice, and then sent 
him with a message to some ladies who yet 
lingered in their box, and whose presence, he 
thought, might be an agreeable addition to the 
party. 

M 5 



250 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

You entered the Alhambra by a Saracenic 
cloister, from the ceiling of which an occasional 
lamp threw a gleam upon some Eastern arms 
hung up against the wall. This passage led to 
the Armoury, a room of moderate dimensions, 
but hung with rich contents. Many an inlaid 
breastplate, — many a Mameluke scimitar and 
Damascus blade, — many a gemmed pistol and 
pearl-embroidered saddle, might there be seen, 
though viewed in a subdued and quiet hght. 
All seemed hushed, and still, and shrouded in 
what had the reputation of being a palace of 
pleasure. 

In this chamber assembled the expected 
guests. His Grace and the Bird of Paradise 
arrived first, with their foreign friends. Lord 
Squib, and Lord Darrell, Sir Lucius Grafton, 
Mr. Annesley, and Mr. Peacock Piggott, fol- 
lowed, but not alone. There were two ladies 
who, by courtesy, if by no other right, bore 
the titles of Lady Squib and Mrs. Annesley. 
There was also a pseudo Lady Aphrodite Graf- 
ton. There was Mrs. Montfort, the famous 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 251 

bloTide, of a beauty which was quite ravishing, 
and dignified as beautiful. Some said (but 
really people say such things) that there was a 
talk (I never believe anything I hear), that had 
not the Bird of Paradise flown in, (these foreign- 
ers pick up every thing.) Mrs. Montfort would 
have been the Duchess of St. James. How 
this may be, I know not : certain, however, this 
superb and stately Donna did not openly evince 
any spleen at her more fortunate rival. Proba- 
bly, although she found herself a guest at the 
Alhambra, instead of being the mistress of the 
palace : probably, like many other ladies, she 
looked upon this aifair of the singing bird as a 
freak which must end — -and then, perhaps, his 
Grace, who was a charming young man, would 
return to his senses. There, also, was her sis- 
ter, a long, fair girl, who looked sentimental, 
but was only silly. There was a little French 
actress, like a highly finished miniature ; and a 
Spanish chuiseuse, tall, dusky, and lithe, glan- 
cing like a lynx, and graceful as a jennet. 

Having all arrived, they proceeded down a 



252 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

small gallery to the banqueting-room. The 
doors are thrown open. Pardon me, if for a 
moment I do not describe the chamber ; but 
really the blaze affects my sight. The room 
was large and lofty. It was fitted up as an 
Eastern tent. The walls were hung with scarlet 
cloth, tied up with ropes of gold. Round the 
room, crouched recumbent lions richly gilt, 
who grasped in their paw a lance, the top of 
which was a coloured lamp. The ceiling was 
emblazoned with the Hauteville arms, and was 
radiant with burnished gold. A cresset lamp 
was suspended from the centre of the shield, 
and not only emitted an equable flow of soft 
though brilliant light, but also, as the aro- 
matic oil wasted away, distilled an exquisite 
perfume. 

The table blazed with golden plate, for the 
Bird of Paradise loved splendour. At the 
end of the room, under a canopy and upon a 
throne, the shield and vases lately executed for 
his Grace now appeared. Every thing was 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 253 

gorgeous, costly, and imposing ; but there was 
no pretence, save in the original outline, at 
maintaining the Oriental character. The fur- 
niture was French ; and opposite the throne, 
Canova's Hebe, by Bertolini, bounded with a 
golden cup from a pedestal of or molii. 

The guests are seated ; but after a few mi- 
nutes, the servants withdraw . Small tables of 
ebony and silver, and dumb waiters of ivory 
and gold, conveniently stored, are at hand, and 
Spiridion never leaves the room. The repast 
was most refined, most exquisite, and most vari- 
ous. It was one of those meetings where all eat. 
When a few persons, easy and unconstrained, 
unincumbered with cares, and of dispositions 
addicted to enjoyment, get together at past mid- 
night, it is extraordinary what an appetite they 
evince. Singers also are proverbially prone to 
gourmandize ; and though the Bird of Para- 
dise unfortunately possessed the smallest mouth 
in all Singingland, it is astonishing how she 
pecked ! But they talked as well as feasted, 



254 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

and were really gay. It was amusing to ob- 
serve, — that is to say, if you had been a dumb 
waiter, and had time for observation, — how cha- 
racteristic was the affectation of the women. 
Lady Squib was witty, Mrs. Annesley refined, 
and the pseudo Lady Afy fashionable. As 
for Mrs. Montfort, she was, as her wont, some- 
what silent, but excessively sublime. The 
Spaniard said nothing, but no doubt indicated 
the possession of Cervantic humour by the sly 
calmness with which she exhausted her own 
waiter, and pillaged her neighbours. The little 
Frenchwoman scarcely ate any thing, but drank 
champaigne and chatted, with equal rapidity 
and equal composure. 

" Prince," said the Duke, " I hope Madame 
de Harestein approves of your trip to Eng- 
land.?" 

The Prince only smiled, for he was of a 
silent disposition, and therefore wonderfully 
well suited his travelling companion. 

" Poor Madame de Harestein !" exclaimed 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 255 

Count Frill. " What despair she was in, when 
you left Vienna, my dear Duke. Ah ! man 
Dieu ! I did what I could to amuse hei. I 
used to take my guitar, and sing to her morn- 
ing and night, but without the least effect. 
She certainly would have died of a broken 
heart, if it had not been for the dancing- 
dogs." 

'^ The dancing-dogs I" minced the pseudo 
Lady Aphrodite. '' How shocking !"" 

" Did they bite her r^ asked Lady Squib, 
" and so inoculate her with gaiety.'' 

" Oh ! the dancing-dogs, my dear ladies ! 
everybody was mad about the dancing-dogs. 
They came from Peru, and danced the ma- 
zurka in green jackets with b. jabot. Oh ! what 
a jabot r 

" I dislike animals excessively," remarked 
Mrs. Annesley. 

" Dislike the dancing dogs !"*' said Count 
Frill. '' Ah ! my good lady, you would have 
been enchanted. Even the Kaiser fed them with 



256 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

pistachio nuts. Oh ! so pretty ! Delicate leetle 
things, soft shining little legs, and pretty little 
faces ! so sensible, and with such jabots P^ 

" I assure you, they were excessively amus- 
ing,'' said the Prince in a soft confidential, un- 
der-tone to his neighbour, Mrs. Montfort, who 
admiring his silence, which she took for state, 
smiled and bowed with fascinating condescension. 

" And what else has happened very remark- 
able, Count, since I left you.^" asked Lord 
Darrell. 

" Nothing, nothing, my dear Darrell. This 
betise of a war has made us all serious. If old 
Clamstandt had not married that gipsy little 
Dugiria, I really think I should have taken a 
turn to Belgrade." 

" You should not eat so much. Poppet!" 
drawled Charles Annesley to the Spaniard. 

" Why not ?'" said the little French lady, 
with great animation, always ready to fight any 
body's battle, provided she could get an oppor- 
tunity to talk. " Why not, Mr. Annesley ? 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 257 

You never will let any body eat — I never eat 
myself, because every night, having to talk so 
much, I am dry, dry, dry, — so I drink, drink, 
drink. It is an extraordinary thing, that there 
is no language which makes you so thirsty as 
French. I always have heard that all the 
Southern languages, Spanish and Italian, make 
you hungry." 

" What can be the reason .^" seriously asked 
the pseudo Lady Afy. 

" Because there is so much salt in it," said 
Lord Squib. 

" Delia," drawled Mr. Annesley, " you look 
very pretty to-night !" 

" I am charmed to charm you, Mr. Annes- 
ley. Shall I tell you what Lord Bon Mot said 
of you r' 

'•' No, 7na mignorine ! I never wish to hear 
my own good things." 

" Spoiled, you should add," said Lady Squib, 
" if Bon Mot be in the case." 

" Lord Bon Mot is a most gentlemanly man," 



258 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

said Delia, indignant at an admirer being at- 
tacked. " He always wants to be amusing. 
Whenever he dines out, he comes and sits 
with me for half an hour to catch the air of the 
Parisian badinage." 

" And you tell him a variety of little things ?'' 
asked Lord Squib, insidiously drawing out the 
secret tactics of Bon Mot. 

" Beaucoup, beaucoup,'^ said Delia, extending 
two little white hands sparkling with gems. 
*' If he come in ever so — how do you call it ? 
heavy — Not that — in the domps — Ah ! it is that 
— If ever he come in the domps, he goes out 
always like a soiijflte.'''' 

" As empty, I have no doubt,"' said Lady 
Squib. 

" And as sweet, I have no doubt," said 
Lord Squib ; " for Delcroix complains sadly 
of your excesses, Delia." 

" Mr. Delcroix complain of me ! That, in- 
deed, is too bad. Just because I recommend 
Montmorency de Versailles to him for an 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 259 

excellent customer, ever since he abuses me, 
merely because Montmorency has forgot, in 
the hurry of going off, to pay his little 
account."^ 

" But he says, you have got all the things," 
said Lord Squib, ^vhose great amusement was 
to put DeHa in a passion. 

" What of that ?" screamed the little lady. 
" Montmorency gave them me." 

" Don't make such a noise," said the Bird of 
Paradise. " I never can eat when there is a 
noise. St. James," continued she in a fretful 
tone, " they make such a noise !" 

'^ Annesley, keep Squib quiet." 

" Delia, leave that young man alone. If 
Isidora would talk a little more, and you eat 
a little more, I think you would be the most 
agreeable little ladies I know. Poppet ! put 
those bonbons in your pocket. You should 
never eat sugar plums in company." 

Thus talking agreeable nonsense, tasting 
agreeable dishes, and sipping agreeable wines. 



260 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

an hour ran on. Sweetest music from an un- 
seen source ever and anon sounded, and Spiri- 
dion swung a censer full of perfumes round the 
chamber. (2.) At length the Duke requested 
Count Frill to give them a song. The Bird of 
Paradise would never sing for pleasure, only 
for fame and a slight cheque. The Count beg- 
ged to decline, and at the same time asked for 
a guitar. The Signora sent for hers; and his 
Excellency preluding with a beautiful simper, 
gave them some slight thing to this effect. 

I. 

Charming Bignetta ! charming Bignetta ! 
What a gay little girl is charming Bignetta ! 

She dances, she prattles, 

She rides and she rattles ; 
But she always is charming that charming Bignetta ! 

II. 

Charming Bignetta ! charming Bignetta ! 
What a wild little witch is charming Bignetta ! 

When she smiles, I 'm all madness ; 

When she frowns, I 'm all sadness ; 
But she always is smiling that charming Bignetta ! 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 261 

III. 

Charming Bignetta I charming Bignetta ! 

What a wicked young rogue is charming Bignetta ! 

She laughs at my shyness, 

And flirts with his Highness ; 
Yet still she is charming that charming Bignetta ! 

IV. 

Charming Bignetta ! charming Bignetta ! 
What a dear little girl is charming Bignetta ! 

" Think me only a sister," 

Said she trembling : I kissed her. 
What a charming young sister is charming Bignetta ! 

He ceased ; and although 

" The Ferrarese 

To choicer music chimed his gay guitar 
In Este's Halls," 

as Casti himself, or rather Mr Rose, choice- 
ly sings, yet still his song served its purpose, 
for it raised a smile. 

'' I wrote that for Madame Sapiepha, at the 
Congress of Verona," said Count Frill. " It has 
been thought amusing." 



262 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

" Madame Sapiepha !'"* exclaimed the Bird of 
Paradise. " What ! that pretty little woman, 
who has such pretty caps ?" 

"The same! Ah! what caps! Mon Dieii ! 
what taste ! what taste !" 

" You like caps, then ?" asked the Bird of 
Paradise w^ith a sparkling eye. 

" Oh ! if there be anything more than other, 
that I know most, it is the cap. Here, voiciT 
said he, rather oddly unbuttoning his waistcoat, 
" you see what lace I have got. Void! voiciT 

" Ah ! me ! what lace ! what lace ! what 
lace !^' exclaimed the Bird, in rapture. " St. 
James, look at his lace. Come here, come 
here, sit next me. Let me look at that lace." 
She examined it with great attention, then 
turned up her beautiful eyes with a fascinating 
smile. '' Ah! c'estjoHe, )iest-cepas? But you 
like caps. I tell you what, you shall see my 
caps. Spiridion, go, mon cher, and tell Ma'^am- 
selle to bring my caps — all my caps — one of 
each set.'' 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 263 

In due time entered the Swiss, with the 
caps — all the caps — one of each set. As she 
handed them in turn to her mistress, the Bird 
chirped a panegyric upon each. 

" That is pretty, is it not — and this also? but 
this is my favourite. What do you think of this 
border ? c'est belle, cette garniture ? et ce jabot, 
c'est tres sedidsant, iCest-ce pas ? Mais void, the 
cap of Princess Lichtenstein. Oest superb, c'est 
monfavori. But I also love very much this of 
the Duchess de Berri. She gave me the pattern 
herself. And, after all, this cornette a petite 
santt of Lady Blaze is a dear little thing ; then, 
again, this coiffe a dentelle of Lady Macaroni 
is quite a pet.'' 

" Pass them down,'' said Lord Squib ; " we 
want to look at them.*^ Accordingly they were 
passed dovv-n. Lord Squib put one on. 

" Do I look superb, sentimental, or only 
pretty.^" asked his Lordship. The example 
was contagious, and most of the caps were ap- 
propriated. No one laughed more than their 



264j the young duke. 

mistress, who, not having the slightest idea of 
the value of money, would have given them all 
away on the spot ; not from any good-natured 
feeling, but from the remembrance that to- 
morrow she might amuse half an hour in buy- 
ing others. 

Whilst some were stealing, and she remon- 
strating, the Duke clapped his hands like a 
Caliph. The curtain at the end of the apart- 
ment was immediately withdrawn, and the ball- 
room stood revealed. 

It was of the same size as the banqueting-hall. 
Its walls exhibited a long perspective of gilt 
pilasters, the frequent piers of which were en- 
tirely of plate looking-glass, save where, occa- 
sionally, a picture had been, as it were, inlaid 
in its rich frame. Here was the Titian Venus 
of the Tribune, deliciously copied by a French 
artist: there, the Roman Fornarina, with her 
delicate grace, beamed like the personification 
of Raffaelle's genius. Here, Zuleikha, living in 
the light a nd shade of that magician Guercino 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 265 

in vain summoned the passions of the blooming 
Hebrew: and there, Cleopatra, preparing for 
her last immortal hour, proved by what we saw 
that Guido had been a lover. 

The ceiling of this apartment was richly 
painted, and richly gilt : from it were suspend- 
ed three lustres by golden cords, which threw a 
softened light upon the floor of polished and 
curiously inlaid woods. At the end of the 
apartment was an orchestra, and here the 
pages, under the direction of Carlstein, offered 
a very efficient domestic band. 

Round the room, waltzed the elegant revel- 
lers. Softly and slowly, led by their host, 
they glided along like spirits of air ; but each 
time that the Duke passed the musicians, the 
music became livelier, and the motion more 
brisk, till at length you might have mistaken 
them for a college of spinning dervishes. One 
by one, an exhausted couple slunk away. Some 
threw themselves on a sofa, some monopolized 
an easy chair; but in twenty minutes all the 

VOL. JI. N 



266 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

dancers had disappeared. At length. Peacock 
Piggott gave a groan, which denoted returning 
energy, and raised a stretching leg in air, 
bringing up, though most unwittingly, upon 
his foot, one of the Bird's sublime and beauti- 
ful caps. 

" Halloa ! Piggott, armed cap au pied, I 
see," said Lord Squib. This joke was a signal 
for general resuscitation. 

The Alhambra formed a quadrangle : all the 
chambers were on the basement story. In the 
middle of the court of the quadrangle was a most 
beautiful fountain; and the court was formed 
by a conservatory, which was built along each 
side of the interior square, and served, like a 
cloister or covered way, for a communication 
between the different parts of the building. To 
this conservatory they now repaired. It was 
very broad, full of the rarest and most delicious 
plants and flowers, and brilliantly illuminated. 
Busts and statues were intermingled with the 
fairy grove ; and a rich, warm hue, by the skil- 



THE YOUNG DUKE. 267 

f ul arrangement of a coloured lamp, was thrown 
aver many a nymph and fair divinity, — many 
a blooming hero and beardless god. Here they 
lounged in different parties, talking on such 
subjects as idlers ever fall upon ; now and 
then plucking a flower, — now and then listen- 
ing to the fountain, — • now and then lingering 
over the distant music, — and now and then 
strolling through a small apartment which open- 
ed to their walks, and which bore the title of 
the Temple of Gnidus. Here, Canova's Venus 
breathed an atmosphere of perfume and of light 
— that wonderful statue, whose full-charged eye 
is not very classical, to be sure — but, then, 
how true ! 

While thus they were whiling away their 
time, Lord Squib proposed a visit to the The- 
atre, which he had ordered to be lit up. To 
the Theatre they repaired. They rambled over 
every part of the house, amused themselves, to 
the horror of Mr. Annesley, with a visit to the 
Gallery, and then collected behind the scenes. 
N 2 



268 THE YOUNG DUKE. 

They were excessively amused with the proper- 
ties ; and Lord Squib proposed they should 
dress themselves. Enough champaigne had 
been quaffed to render any proposition palata- 
ble, and, in a few minutes, they were all in 
costume. A crowd of queens and chamber- 
maids, Jews and chimney-sweeps, lawyers and 
Charleys, Spanish Dons and Irish officers, 
rushed upon the stage. The little Spaniard 
was Almaviva, and fell into magnificent atti- 
tudes, with her sword and plume. Lord Squib 
was the old woman of Brentford, — and very 
funny. Sir Lucius Grafton, Harlequin ; and 
Darrell, Grimaldi. The Prince, and the Count, 
without knowing it, figured as watchmen. Squib 
whispered Annesley, that Sir Lucius O'Trigger 
might appear in character, but was prudent 
enough to suppress the joke. 

The band was summoned, and they danced 
quadrilles with infinite spirit, and finished the 
night, at the suggestion of Lord Squib, by 
breakfasting on the stage. By the time this 



THE YOUNG^DUKE. 269 

meal was despatched, the purple light of morn 
had broke into the building, and the ladies pro- 
posed an immediate departure. Mrs. Montfort 
and her sister were sent home in one of the 
Duke's carriages ; and the foreign guests were 
requested by him to be their escort. The re- 
spective parties drove off. Two cabriolets lin- 
gered to the last, and finally carried away the 
French actress and the Spanish dancer. Lord 
Darrell, and Peacock Piggott ; but whether the 
two gentlemen went in one, and the two ladies 
in the other, I cannot aver. I hope not. 

There was at length a dead silence, and the 
young Duke was left to solitude and the 
Signora ! 



END OF THE THIRD BOOK. 



NOTES. 



Page 219.— (1.) Dawson Turner, Esq. of Yarmouth, a 
gentleman whose taste and talents are appreciated by a 
large circle of distinguished friends, possesses, among other 
literary treasures, an unrivalled collection of autograph 
letters. 

Page 260. — (2.) This was the invariable custom at 
Strawberry Hill. 



END OF THE SECOND VOLUME. 



LOXDOK : 
PTUyTED BV SAMUEL BEKTLEY, 

DoisetStrtet, FiefciSuttt. 



^^ 



'S J 




1